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More hands, more power? Estimating the impact of immigration on output and technology choices using early 20th century US agriculture

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  • Lafortune, Jeanne
  • Tessada, José
  • González-Velosa, Carolina

Abstract

We study the impact of immigration-induced changes in labor supply within agriculture in the US during early 20th century, a sector where shifting output mix may be easier than in previously studied industries (manufacturing), on output and production choices. We find evidence of output mix adjustments at the county-level in response to immigration as predicted by trade models. Moreover, that response is only visible in diversified counties. Counties with higher initial specialization, likely with higher degree of factor (land) specificity, responded instead through input mixes and organizational changes. Suggestive evidence indicates that crop mix adjustments alone, without organizational changes, absorbed an important part of changes in labor endowments in diversified counties.

Suggested Citation

  • Lafortune, Jeanne & Tessada, José & González-Velosa, Carolina, 2015. "More hands, more power? Estimating the impact of immigration on output and technology choices using early 20th century US agriculture," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-358.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:339-358
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2015.07.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Braun, Sebastian Till & Weber, Henning, 2021. "How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    2. Abramitzky, Ran & Ager, Philipp & Boustan, Leah & Cohen, Elior David & Hansen, Casper Worm, 2019. "The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure," CEPR Discussion Papers 14165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Rotunno, Lorenzo & Wood, Adrian, 2020. "Wage inequality and skill supplies in a globalised world," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 529-547.
    4. Andersson, David & Karadja, Mounir & Prawitz, Erik, 2020. "Mass Migration and Technological Change," SocArXiv 74ub8, Center for Open Science.
    5. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    6. repec:esx:essedp:752 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Pandey, Manish & Ray Chaudhuri, Amrita, 2017. "Immigration-induced effects of changes in size and skill distribution of the labor force on wages in the U.S," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 118-134.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Output mix; Immigration; Technology choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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