"What the government would do is set a price, and the price would be determined by how many people they would like to admit, and then they would allow everyone to come in who could pay that price, aside from obvious exceptions like terrorists," he told The Daily Telegraph before delivering the 19th Institute of Economic Affairs Annual Hayek Memorial Lecture in London.(...)
Professor Becker, who teaches at the University of Chicago and won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science in 1992, said the most skilled immigrants would still be attracted, because they would be able to generate the highest returns from their investment in the entry fee.
He said the programme would also reduce opposition to immigration, by eliminating the sense that immigrants were getting "a free ride". He will argue that a government loan system should be introduced to ensure that young, ambitious people could borrow the entry fee and pay it back over time.
"Usually governments are encouraged to make more radical changes when they decide that things are pretty bad and the present solutions aren't working. That's the situation the UK is finding itself in, the US is finding itself in, and Germany, Scandinavia, and other countries," Mr Becker said.
The Daily Telegraph