NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What Determines Immigration's Impact? Comparing Two Global Centuries

Timothy J. Hatton, Jeffrey G. Williamson

NBER Working Paper No. 12414
Issued in August 2006
NBER Program(s):   DAE   IFM   LS

Can history shed light on the modern debate about immigration’s labor market impact in high wage economies? This paper examines the relationship between migration and capital flows in the age of mass migration before 1914, the so-called first global century. It then assesses the effects of immigration on wages and employment with and without international capital mobility in first global century and today, that is, the second global century. The paper then explores the links between these economic relationships and immigration policy. It concludes with an explanation for the apparent difference in immigration’s impact in the two global centuries, and thus on policy.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12414

Published: Hatton, Timothy and Jeffrey G. Williamson. "The Impact of Immigration: Comparing Two Global Eras." World Development 36, 3 (March 2008): 345-61.

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