Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ran Abramitzky
  • Leah Platt Boustan
  • Katherine Eriksson

Abstract

During the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913), the US maintained an open border, absorbing 30 million European immigrants. Prior cross-sectional work on this era finds that immigrants initially held lower-paid occupations than natives but experienced rapid convergence over time. In newly-assembled panel data, we show that, in fact, the average immigrant did not face a substantial occupation-based earnings penalty upon first arrival and experienced occupational advancement at the same rate as natives. Cross-sectional patterns are driven by biases from declining arrival cohort quality and departures of negatively-selected return migrants. We show that assimilation patterns vary substantially across sending countries and persist in the second generation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18011.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18011.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration,” with Leah Boustan and Katherine Eriksson, forthcoming Journal of Political Economy [current draft: August 2013]
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18011

Note: DAE LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joel Perlmann, 1998. "Selective Migration as a Basis for Upward Mobility? The Occupation of the Jewish Immigrants to the United States, ca. 1900," Macroeconomics 9805023, EconWPA, revised 24 Feb 1999.
  3. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
  4. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2012. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 9248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-run convergence of ethnic skill differentials: The children and grandchildren of the Great Migration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
  6. Edin, P.-A. & Lalonde, R.J. & Aslund, O., 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Papers 2000-13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. Darren Lubotsky, 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Labor and Demography 0004006, EconWPA.
  8. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-56, August.
  9. Minns, Chris, 2000. "Income, Cohort Effects, and Occupational Mobility: A New Look at Immigration to the United States at the Turn of the 20th Century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 326-350, October.
  10. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-92, January.
  11. Jason Long & Joseph Ferrie, 2013. "Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1109-37, June.
  12. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  13. Hanes, Christopher, 1996. "Immigrants' Relative Rate of Wage Growth in the Late 19th Century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-64, January.
  14. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  15. Eichengreen, Barry & Gemery, Henry A., 1986. "The Earnings of Skilled and Unskilled Immigrants at the End of the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 441-454, June.
  16. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  17. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
  18. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
  19. Constant, Amelie F. & Massey, Douglas S., 2002. "Self-Selection, Earnings, and Out-Migration: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 153-68, May.
  21. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Depew, Briggs & Norlander, Peter & Sorensen, Todd A., 2013. "Flight of the H-1B: Inter-Firm Mobility and Return Migration Patterns for Skilled Guest Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 7456, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants’ Earnings Profiles," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2014002, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. George J. Borjas, 2013. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," NBER Working Papers 19116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Piehl, 2014. "Immigrant assimilation into US prisons, 1900–1930," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 173-200, January.
  5. Biavaschi, Costanza, 2013. "Fifty Years of Compositional Changes in U.S. Out-Migration, 1908-1957," IZA Discussion Papers 7258, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Biavaschi, Costanza, 2013. "The labor demand was downward sloping: Disentangling migrants’ inflows and outflows, 1929–1957," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 531-534.
  7. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2012. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 9248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Costanza Biavaschi & Corrado Giulietti & Zahra Siddique, 2013. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2013-08, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  10. Allison Shertzer, 2013. "Immigrant Group Size and Political Mobilization: Evidence from European Migration to the United States," NBER Working Papers 18827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tim Hatton & Joseph P. Ferrie, 2014. "Two Centuries of International Migration," CEH Discussion Papers 23, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.