NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration

Ran Abramitzky, Leah Platt Boustan, Katherine Eriksson

NBER Working Paper No. 18011
Issued in April 2012
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LS

During the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913), the US maintained an open border, absorbing 30 million European immigrants. Prior cross-sectional work on this era finds that immigrants initially held lower-paid occupations than natives but experienced rapid convergence over time. In newly-assembled panel data, we show that, in fact, the average immigrant did not face a substantial occupation-based earnings penalty upon first arrival and experienced occupational advancement at the same rate as natives. Cross-sectional patterns are driven by biases from declining arrival cohort quality and departures of negatively-selected return migrants. We show that assimilation patterns vary substantially across sending countries and persist in the second generation.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

This paper was revised on August 21, 2013

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18011

“A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration,” with Leah Boustan and Katherine Eriksson, forthcoming Journal of Political Economy [current draft: August 2013]

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Ashenfelter w18006 Comparing Real Wages
Abramitzky, Boustan, and Eriksson w15684 Europe's tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration
Lacetera and Sydnor w18005 Would You Buy a Honda Made in the U.S.? The Impact of Production Location on Manufacturing Quality
Borjas w19116 The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again
Abramitzky, Boustan, and Eriksson w18298 Have the Poor Always Been Less Likely to Migrate? Evidence From Inheritance Practices During the Age of Mass Migration
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us