With the US government in such a state of paralysis that Donald Trump has taken to ordering vast amounts of fast food to the White House, it’s a good time for a study on the actual costs and benefits of the President’s border wall with Mexico.
Clearly there is a particular challenge to estimate the impact of a wall that is for the time being purely hypothetical. Fortunately, academics Treb Allen (Dartmouth College), Caue Dobbin and Melanie Morten (both Stanford) can draw on the evidence of a very similar project already in existence.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 mandated an extra 548 miles of border fencing on the southern border, which went up between 2007 and 2010. That should give a sense of how long it might take for Trump to get his wall up, should he ever get the plan past Congress.