LAWRENCE — Immigration in recent decades has contributed to more than half of Kansas' population growth, which is a key component of economic growth. In addition, Mexico is Kansas' largest trading partner.
With so much national policy discussion on reforming immigration and trade, economists, educators and policymakers from across the state will examine the local and regional perspectives of these issues at the University of Kansas on Oct. 26 at the annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference titled Walling Off the Kansas Economy: Trade, Immigration, and Economic Growth.
"This year's Kansas Economic Policy Conference features discussions with business leaders and policymakers about the role of globalization in the state," said Donna Ginther, professor of economics. "Our goal is to look at these issues closely and see how renegotiating trade agreements and restricting immigration to the state would affect economic growth."
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Kansas Union and will conclude at 2:15 p.m. The Institute for Policy & Social Research at KU, a leading source on collecting economic and social data on the state and region, sponsors the annual event. Ginther serves as director of IPSR's Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy. IPSR's KU Center for Migration Research is also a co-sponsor of the event.
KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi will give the events opening remarks.
The morning keynote features Alexandre Skiba, associate professor of economics at the University of Wyoming, who will discuss "The State of the State: Trade, Immigration and Economic Growth."
A conversation about immigration and the Kansas economy will feature Allie Divine, partner of Devine, Donley & Murray Governmental Affairs and Laurie Minard, vice president of human resources for Garmin International Inc., which is based in Olathe. Jim McLean, managing director of Kansas News Service, will then host a conversation on trade and the Kansas economy that will include Karyn Page, president and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Service, and Josh Roe, deputy secretary of the Kansas Department Agriculture.
The afternoon features remarks by Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, as well as a conversation on trade and immigration policy with Rep. Don Hineman, the Kansas House majority leader, and Alex Richard, state director for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran.
Ginther will deliver the conference's closing remarks.