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Europe's tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration

  • Ran Abramitzky
  • Leah Platt Boustan
  • Katherine Eriksson

The Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913) was among the largest migration episodes in history. During this period, the United States maintained open borders. Using a novel dataset of Norway-to-US migrants, we estimate the return to migration while accounting for migrant selection across households by comparing migrants with their brothers who stayed in Norway. We also compare the fathers of migrants and non-migrants by wealth and occupation, and examine migrants' assimilation in the US labor market. We find that, unhindered by entry restrictions, migrants were negatively selected from the sending population and their return to migration was relatively low.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15684.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-56, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15684
Note: DAE LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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