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How much did immigrant "quality" decline in late nineteenth century America?

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  • Timothy J. Hatton

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK)

Abstract

Early twentieth century observers argued that recent American immigrants were inferior, and in particular less skilled, than the old. I estimate wage equations for 1909 allowing for different effects by nationality and for different characteristics on arrival. I then apply the estimated wage differentials to the immigrant composition to measure the effect of changing composition on immigrant earnings. Finally I ask how immigrant earning power changed relative to that of native Americans. I conclude that immigrant "quality" in terms of earnings did decline due to shifting composition but these effects are very small compared with those reported in studies of the post-second World War period.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 509-525

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:13:y:2000:i:3:p:509-525

Note: Received: 1 September 1997/Accepted: 6 June 1998
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Related research

Keywords: United States immigration history;

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Cited by:
  1. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2006. "A Dual Policy Paradox: Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labor-Scarce Economies?," IZA Discussion Papers 2146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Lee Summerfield, 2014. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," Economic History Working Papers 57209, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Timothy J. Hatton & Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, not just as Individuals," CEPR Discussion Papers 547, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. James Foreman-Peck & Peng Zhou, 2013. "The strength and persistence of entrepreneurial cultures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 163-187, January.
  5. Hatton, Timothy J., 2010. "The Cliometrics of International Migration: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 7803, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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