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Immigrant Assimilation into U.S. Prisons, 1900-1930

Author

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  • Carolyn M. Moehling
  • Anne Morrison Piehl

Abstract

The analysis of a new dataset on state prisoners in the 1900 to 1930 censuses reveals that immigrants rapidly assimilated to native incarceration patterns. One feature of these data is that the second generation can be identified, allowing direct analysis of this group and allowing their exclusion from calculations of comparison rates for the "native" population. Although adult new arrivals were less likely than natives to be incarcerated, this likelihood was increasing with their years in the U.S. The foreign born who arrived as children and second generation immigrants had slightly higher rates of incarceration than natives of native parentage, but these differences disappear after controlling for nativity differences in urbanicity and occupational status. Finally, while the incarceration rates of new arrivals differ significantly by source country, patterns of assimilation are very similar.

Suggested Citation

  • Carolyn M. Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2013. "Immigrant Assimilation into U.S. Prisons, 1900-1930," NBER Working Papers 19083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19083 Note: DAE LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2010. "Migration and Culture," Working Papers 2010-17, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    2. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    3. James P. Smith, 2006. "Immigrants and the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 203-234, April.
    4. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 18011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monica Langella & Alan Manning, 2016. "Diversity and Neighbourhood Satisfaction," CEP Discussion Papers dp1459, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan, 2016. "Immigration in American Economic History," NBER Working Papers 21882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Katherine Eriksson, 2015. "Access to Schooling and the Black-White Incarceration Gap in the Early 20th Century US South: Evidence from Rosenwald Schools," NBER Working Papers 21727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Luca Nunziata, 2015. "Immigration and crime: evidence from victimization data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 697-736, July.
    5. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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