IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Where Do U.S. Immigrants Come From, and Why?

  • Ximena Clark
  • Timothy J. Hatton
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

The United States has experienced rising immigration levels and changing source since the 1950s. The changes in source have been attributed to the 1965 Amendments to the Immigration Act that abolished country-quotas and replaced them with a system that emphasized family reunification. Some believed that the Amendments would not change the 'traditional' sources of US immigrants. Given this view, it seems all the more remarkable that the sources of immigration changed so dramatically. This paper isolates the economic and demographic fundamentals that determined immigration rates by source from 1971 to 1998 -- income, education, demographic composition and inequality. The paper also allows for persistence - big US foreign-born stocks implying a strong 'friends and neighbors' pull on current immigrant flows. Specific policy variables are included which are derived directly from the quotas allocated to different visa categories. Parameter estimates from the panel data are then used to implement counterfactual simulations that serve to isolate the effects of immigration policy as well as source-country economic and demographic conditions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8998.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8998
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  2. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
  3. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 1998. "The Changing Skills of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Working Papers 6764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, 09.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8998. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.