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The Origins of Anti-Immigrant Sentiments: Evidence from the Heartland in the Age of Mass Migration

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  • Richardson Gary

    () (University of California, Irvine)

Abstract

The Kansas Bureau of Labor and Industry surveyed attitudes towards immigration during the 1890s. The surveys reveal that individuals opposed immigration for cultural and economic reasons. Key correlates were the position in the labor market, the business cycle, and immigrant status. The magnitudes of the effects indicate that economic factors explain twice the variation in opinions across individuals than cultural factors explain. In addition, changes in economic conditions from 1880 to 1920 explain a substantial share of the rise in anti-immigrant sentiments at the end of the nineteenth and during the early twentieth centuries, but other factors, such as the rise of the eugenics movement, must have had at least as large a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Richardson Gary, 2005. "The Origins of Anti-Immigrant Sentiments: Evidence from the Heartland in the Age of Mass Migration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-48, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.5:y:2005:i:1:n:11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susan B. Carter & Richard Sutch, 1997. "Historical Perspectives on the Economic Consequences of Immigration into the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. R Todd Jewell & Natalia Melgar & David J. Molina & Máximo Rossi, 2009. "Attitudes toward immigrants: a cross-country perspective," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0309, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. Catalina Amuedo‐Dorantes & Thitima Puttitanun, 2011. "Gender Differences In Native Preferences Toward Undocumented And Legal Immigration: Evidence From San Diego," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 31-45, January.
    3. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
    4. Ferrie, Joseph & Hatton, Timothy J., 2013. "Two Centuries of International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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