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National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth

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  • Philipp Ager

    (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark)

  • Casper Worm Hansen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

The introduction of immigration quotas in the 1920s fundamentally changed US migration policy. We exploit this policy change to estimate the effect of immigration on local economic growth and industry development. Our analysis demonstrates that areas with larger pre-existing communities of immigrants of nationalities restricted by the quota system experienced larger population declines in the subsequent decades as the quotas reduced the supply of immigrants to these areas. We then show that the quotas led to negative agglomeration effects in the manufacturing sector, while productivity losses are only visible in urban counties, cities, and immigrant dependent industries. We also ?find that the quota system pushed native workers into low-wage occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1611
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration restrictions; National quota acts; Economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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