Tino Sanandaji

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Tino Sanandaji is a researcher at the Institute of Economic History at the Stockholm School of Economics. He received a Ph.D. in public policy, MA in Economics, and MBA from the Business School at the University of Chicago. He blogs at www.tino.us. His blog was earlier located at Super-Economy. He is ethnically Kurdish and was born in Iran, from where he migrated along with his family to Sweden while he was young. The Swedish Wikipedia has an article about him. Sanandaji’s brother, Nima Sanandaji, also has a Swedish Wikipedia article.

In December 2014, Sanandaji launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund money for his book Moral Superpower about immigration to Sweden, to be published in both English and Swedish. In January 2015, the campaign successfully concluded, having raised 632,205 SEK (Swedish kronas). This translates to about $75,000 in US dollars (note that the exchange rate fluctuates somewhat so the USD estimate is only approximate).

He has opposed open borders in some of his writings and critiqued both the theoretical and empirical arguments offered in favor of open borders. He has in particular been critical of Swedish policy that combines what he identifies as a liberal migration policy and a generous welfare state. Some of his writings that have been referenced on this website are listed below.

Other discussions:

  • Vipul Naik’s post in the Open Borders Action Group, December 21, 2014, linking to Sanandaji’s crowdfunding campaign while it was still active.
  • John Lee’s post in the Open Borders Action Group, May 22, 2014, linking to the article Stockholm Syndrome: How Immigrants Are Changing Sweden’s Welfare State by Ivar Ekman, May 19, 2014, in Foreign Affairs. Lee comments:

    I feel like this story is a Rorschach test for how one feels about immigration: “Ahmad, one of the Somali boys, tried telling a story about how he was fleeing his home in Somalia and crossed a river filled with crocodiles. But the gap between his halting Swedish vocabulary and the sheer horror he wished to express was too wide, and the teacher was unable to follow along.”

    Restrictionists: why would we ever admit low-IQ people who can’t even establish a functioning government in their own country, and clearly can’t learn our language, let alone integrate into our high-IQ, well-functioning society?

    Mainstream liberals: we should let more refugees in, but we can’t have open borders. Because, you know, they would destroy our education/healthcare/welfare system, just as seems to be happening in Sweden.

    Open borders advocates: how wonderful that kids like Ahmad don’t need to live any more in a society where they’d willingly risk being eaten by a crocodile to escape. Doesn’t that outweigh the cost of pressing 1 for English or building a few more schools?

  • Matthew Taylor’s post in the Open Borders Action Group, September 12, 2015, linking to Sweden’s Ugly Immigration Problem, an article that cites Sanandaji’s work on the challenges faced by Sweden with immigrant integration and the welfare state.
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