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Historical Perspectives on the Economic Consequences of Immigration into the United States

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  • Susan B. Carter
  • Richard Sutch

Abstract

This paper highlights the distinctive features of the theoretical approach taken by scholars" who analyzed the impacts of the mass migration into the United States in the two decades" preceding World War I. Broadly speaking, this literature was couched in terms of the "aggregate" production function, productivity change in factor proportions. Attention was focused on the close interrelatedness among the many" diverse elements in the economy. A notable difference between the historical studies and the recent literature on the impacts" of immigration is the propensity of the current literature to concentrate only on the first-round" consequences. It is easy to show that these will be harmful to resident workers who face direct" competition. Economic historians writing about the earlier period of high immigration went" beyond the first-round effects. Taking a long-run perspective, they identified many aspects of" the mass immigration that were beneficial from the point of view of the resident population."

Suggested Citation

  • Susan B. Carter & Richard Sutch, 1997. "Historical Perspectives on the Economic Consequences of Immigration into the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Richardson Gary, 2005. "The Origins of Anti-Immigrant Sentiments: Evidence from the Heartland in the Age of Mass Migration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-48, June.
    2. Rodriguez-Pose, Andres & von Berlepsch, Viola, 2012. "When migrants rule: the legacy of mass migration on economic development in the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 9122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ager, Philipp & Hansen, Casper Worm, 2017. "Closing Heaven's Door: Evidence from the 1920s U.S. Immigration Quota Acts," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 11/2017, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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