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Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries

Author

Listed:
  • Ran Abramitzky
  • Leah Platt Boustan
  • Elisa Jácome
  • Santiago Pérez

Abstract

Using millions of father-son pairs spanning more than 100 years of US history, we find that children of immigrants from nearly every sending country have higher rates of upward mobility than children of the US-born. Immigrants’ advantage is similar historically and today despite dramatic shifts in sending countries and US immigration policy. In the past, this advantage can be explained by immigrants moving to areas with better prospects for their children and by “under-placement” of the first generation in the income distribution. These findings are consistent with the “American Dream” view that even poorer immigrants can improve their children’s prospects.

Suggested Citation

  • Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Elisa Jácome & Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries," NBER Working Papers 26408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26408
    Note: CH DAE LS PE
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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