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Nativity and Wealth in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Cities

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  • Conley, Timothy G.
  • Galenson, David W.

Abstract

This article uses evidence from the manuscripts of the 1860 federal census to analyze the wealth of adult males in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Previous multivariate analyses of wealth from the census have been flawed by reliance on ordinary least squares; we instead use quantile regression. Immigrants fared considerably better in the Midwest than the East: immigrants in the midwestern cities held more wealth than their eastern counterparts, both absolutely and relative to the native-born in their respective cities. We explore the causes of these differences and their consequences for nineteenth-century Americans and their communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Conley, Timothy G. & Galenson, David W., 1998. "Nativity and Wealth in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Cities," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 468-493, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:58:y:1998:i:02:p:468-493_02
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