Working Their Way Up? US Immigrants' Changing Labor Market Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration
Whether immigrants advance in labor markets relative to natives is a fundamental question in immigration economics. It is difficult to answer this question for the Age of Mass Migration, when US immigration was at its peak. New datasets of linked census records show that immigrants experienced substantial "catching up" relative to natives' occupational status from 1850 to 1880, but not from 1900 to 1930. This change was not due to the shift in immigrant source countries. Instead, it was rooted in a sizable change in natives' occupations. The results revise the influential view that European immigrants "worked their way up".
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26414