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Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials

  • George J. Borjas

This paper investigates if the ethnic skill differentials introduced into the United States by the inflow of very dissimilar immigrant groups during the Great Migration of 1880-1910 disappeared during the past century. An analysis of the 1910, 1940, and 1980 Censuses and the General Social Surveys revealed that ethnic differentials converge slowly. It might take four generations, or roughly 100 years, for the skill differentials introduced by the Great Migration to disappear. The analysis also indicates that the economic mobility experienced by American-born blacks resembles that of the white ethnic groups that made up the Great Migration.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4641.

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Date of creation: Feb 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials: The Children and Grandchildren of the Great Migration", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 47, no. 4 (1994): 553-573.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4641
Note: LS
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  1. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," NBER Working Papers 3713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Heckman, James J & Payner, Brook S, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 138-77, March.
  4. Borjas, George J, 1993. "The Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 113-35, January.
  5. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  6. Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, July.
  7. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
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