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Migrants and the Making of America: The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Immigration during the Age of Mass Migration

Sandra Sequeira, Nathan Nunn () and Nancy Qian ()

No 23289, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We study the effects of European immigration to the United States during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1920) on economic prosperity today. We exploit variation in the extent of immigration across counties arising from the interaction of fluctuations in aggregate immigrant flows and the gradual expansion of the railway network across the United States. We find that locations with more historical immigration today have higher incomes, less poverty, less unemployment, higher rates of urbanization, and greater educational attainment. The long-run effects appear to arise from the persistence of sizeable short-run benefits, including greater industrialization, increased agricultural productivity, and more innovation.

JEL-codes: N31 N32 N61 N62 N71 N72 N91 N92 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro, nep-his, nep-int, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2017-03
Note: DAE DEV ITI POL
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (22) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Sandra Sequeira & Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2017. "Migrants and the Making of America: The Shortand Long-Run Effects of Immigration During the Age of Mass Migration," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(3), pages 30-34, October.

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