IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Immigrants and Natives: Comparative Economic Performance in the U.S., 1850-60 and 1965-80

  • Joseph P. Ferrie
Registered author(s):

    Immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before the Civil War were less likely to reside in locations with high immigrant concentrations as their time in the U.S. increased. This is contrary to the experience of recent immigrants who show no decrease in concentration after arrival. The reduced isolation of antebellum immigrants was not due to their own movement to places with fewer immigrants but due to the movement of the native-born into places (particularly cities) with large immigrant concentrations. The isolation of contemporary immigrants even after several years in the U.S. thus results more from the reluctance of the native-born to relocate to places with many immigrants than from immigrants' reluctance to move to places with fewer immigrants. Contemporary immigrants had greater success than antebellum immigrants avoiding unskilled jobs as they entered the U.S. job market, though they moved out of unskilled jobs less often than antebellum immigrants when comparing their occupations at two points in time after arrival. Improvements in occupational mobility between antebellum and recent immigrants were most apparent among those in other than unskilled jobs. These findings suggest the need to reevaluate some of the premises upon which the concerns about the economic performance of recent immigrants are based.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0093.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0093
    Note: DAE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0093. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.