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Smooth(er) Landing? The Dynamic Role of Networks in the Location and Occupational Choice of Immigrants

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  • Jeanne Lafortune
  • José Tessada

Abstract

This paper studies the dynamic effect of networks on location and occupation decisions of immigrants to the United States between 1900 and 1930. We compare the distributions of immigrants both by intended and actual state of residence to counterfactual distributions constructed by allocating the national-level flows according to the distribution of previous immigrants and to measures of demand for occupations at the state level. Our results are consistent with migrants using ethnic networks as a transitory mechanism while they learn about their new labor markets and not with other hypotheses that do not account for the dynamic patterns we document.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanne Lafortune & José Tessada, 2012. "Smooth(er) Landing? The Dynamic Role of Networks in the Location and Occupational Choice of Immigrants," Documentos de Trabajo 427, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:427
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    File URL: https://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/doctra/dt-427.pdf
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    1. Patricia Cortés & José Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
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    11. Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 151-178, April.
    12. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
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    14. Kaivan Munshi & Nicholas Wilson, 2008. "Identity, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice: Linking the Past to the Present in the American Midwest," NBER Working Papers 13717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. Wegge, Simone A., 1998. "Chain Migration and Information Networks: Evidence From Nineteenth-Century Hesse-Cassel," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 957-986, December.
    17. Hellerstein, Judith K. & McInerney, Melissa & Neumark, David, 2008. "Measuring the Importance of Labor Market Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 3750, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia Rizzica, 2018. "When the Cat’s Away The Effects of Spousal Migration on Investments on Children," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 85-108.
    2. 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.
    3. Crystal Zhan, 2022. "Wage distributions in origin societies and occupational choices of immigrant generations in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 89-133, January.
    4. Xie, Bin, 2017. "The Effects of Immigration Quotas on Wages, the Great Black Migration, and Industrial Development," IZA Discussion Papers 11214, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. Jeanne Lafortune & Ethan Lewis & José Tessada, 2019. "People and Machines: A Look at the Evolving Relationship between Capital and Skill in Manufacturing, 1860–1930, Using Immigration Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 30-43, March.
    7. Carlana, Michela & Tabellini, Marco, 2018. "Happily Ever After: Immigration, Natives' Marriage, and Fertility," Working Paper Series rwp18-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Lewis, Ethan & Peri, Giovanni, 2015. "Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 625-685, Elsevier.
    9. Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 151-178, April.
    10. Greenwood, Michael J. & Ward, Zachary, 2015. "Immigration quotas, World War I, and emigrant flows from the United States in the early 20th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 76-96.
    11. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
    12. Zhan, Crystal, 2020. "Wage Distributions in Origin Societies and Occupational Choices of Immigrant Generations in the US," GLO Discussion Paper Series 685, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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