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

  • Susan B. Carter
  • Richard Sutch
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    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."

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/h0106.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0106.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0106
    Note: DAE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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