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American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930

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  • Murtin, Fabrice

    (OECD)

  • Viarengo, Martina

    (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Abstract

This paper derives original series of average years of schooling in the United States 1870-1930, which take into account the impact of mass migrations on the US educational level. We reconstruct the foreign-born US population by age and by country of origin, while combining data on the flow of migrants by country and the age pyramids of migrants by country. Then we use original data on educational attainment in the nineteenth century presented in Morrisson and Murtin (2008) in order to estimate the educational level of US immigrants by age and by country. As a result, our series are consistent with the first national estimates of average schooling in 1940. We show that mass migrations have had a significant but modest impact on the US average educational attainment. However, the educational gap between US natives and immigrants was large and increased with the second immigration wave, a phenomenon that most likely fostered the implementation of restrictive immigration rules in the 1920s.

Suggested Citation

  • Murtin, Fabrice & Viarengo, Martina, 2009. "American Education in the Age of Mass Migrations 1870-1930," IZA Discussion Papers 3964, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3964
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The Century of Education," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-42.
    2. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2010. "The Kuznets Curve of Education: A Global Perspective on Education Inequalities," CEE Discussion Papers 0116, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    3. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "The democratic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 141-181, June.
    4. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2013. "The Kuznets curve of human capital inequality: 1870–2010," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(3), pages 283-301, September.
    5. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic history; migrations; education; economic development research;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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