Senior Fellows

Pia M. Orrenius

Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

(214) 922-5747

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Orrenius is a labor economist working on regional economic growth and demographic change. She manages the Texas Business Outlook Surveys and is executive editor of the quarterly publication Southwest Economy. Her academic research focuses on the labor market impacts of immigration, unauthorized immigration and U.S. immigration policy. She is coauthor of the book Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization (2010, AEI Press).

Orrenius is affiliated with several academic institutions. She is senior fellow at the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University and at the IZA Institute of Labor in Bonn, Germany, as well as visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Orrenius is also adjunct professor at Baylor University (Dallas campus), where she teaches in the executive MBA program. Orrenius was senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President, Washington D.C., in 2004–05, where she advised the Bush administration on labor, health and immigration issues. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and bachelor degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign.

Education and Honors

  • Ph.D., Economics, University of California at Los Angeles
  • B.A., Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

Journal Publications


  • Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market,” with Madeline Zavodny, Latin America Initiative Immigration Research Project Working Paper, Baker Institute, Rice University, 2013.
  • The Process of Unauthorized Crossing at the U.S.–Mexico Border,” with Fernando Riosmena, in Options for Estimating Illegal Entries at the U.S.–Mexico Border, National Research Council 2012.
  • “Economic Effects of Migration: Receiving States,” with Madeline Zavodny, in The Oxford Handbook of The Politics of International Migration, Marc R. Rosenblum and Daniel J. Tichenor, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • “Immigration and Growth,” with Madeline Zavodny, in The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs, Brendan Miniter, ed., Crown Business, 2012.
  • “Remittances as an Economic Development Engine,” with Madeline Zavodny, Jesus Cañas, and Roberto Coronado, in Migration and Remittances from Mexico: Trends, Impacts and New Challenges, Alfredo Cuecuecha and Carla Pederzini, eds., Lexington Books, 2012.