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Leaving the Enclave: Historical Evidence on Immigrant Mobility from the Industrial Removal Office

Ran Abramitzky, Leah Platt Boustan, Dylan Connor

NBER Working Paper No. 27372
Issued in June 2020
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy, Labor Studies

We study a program that funded 39,000 Jewish households in New York City to leave enclave neighborhoods circa 1910. Compared to their neighbors with the same occupation and income score at baseline, program participants earned 4 percent more ten years after removal, and these gains persisted to the next generation. Men who left enclaves also married spouses with less Jewish names, but they did not choose less Jewish names for their children. Gains were largest for men who spent more years outside of an enclave. Our results suggest that leaving ethnic neighborhoods could facilitate economic advancement and assimilation into the broader society, but might make it more difficult to retain cultural identity.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27372

 
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