Immigration is beneficial to economies, even after 100 years

March 12, 2019, Oxford University Press
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new study in the Review of Economic Studies finds that U.S. counties with more historical immigration have higher incomes, less poverty, and lower unemployment today.

An important issue in current American political discourse is the effect that immigrants have on the communities in which they settle. While this topic has received significant attention, the focus has generally been on the short-term effects of immigrants. We know much less about the long-run consequences of immigration.

Researchers studied the effects of immigration into the United States from 1850 to 1920, a period in which immigration to the country increased dramatically, and the immigration sources also changed. In 1850 over 90% of foreign-born people living in the United States were from Great Britain, Ireland, or Germany. By 1920, this figure was only 45%.

The authors found that immigration resulted in benefits that were felt soon after their arrival. Immigration resulted in more and larger manufacturing establishments, greater agricultural productivity, and higher rates of innovation. These findings are consistent with a long-standing narrative suggesting that immigrants contribute to by providing an ample supply of unskilled labor, as well as a smaller supply of skilled people, who bring with them knowledge and innovations that are important for development.

The size of the effects suggest that increasing the percentage of immigrants in a county by 4.9% results in a 13% increase in average per capita income today, a 44% increase in average manufacturing output per capita from 1860-1920 (and a 78% increase in 1930), a 37% increase in farm values, and a 152% increase in the number of patents per capita.

The researchers also found that these economic benefits did not have long-run social costs. Places with more historical settlement today have similar levels of social capital, , and .

"What is fascinating is that despite the exceptionalism of this period in US history," said the paper's lead author, Sandra Sequeira. "There are several important parallels that one could draw between then and now: the large influx of unskilled labor, the small but important inflow of highly skilled innovators, as well as the significant short-run social backlash against immigration. There is much to be learned from taking a longer perspective on the immigration debate."

Explore further: Immigrants have little impact on native-born workers: study

More information: Immigrants and the Making of America, Review of Economic Studies (2019). DOI: 10.1093/restud/rdz003

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unrealone1
4 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2019
Does Japan and China have immigrants?
V4Vendicar
2 / 5 (8) Mar 12, 2019
This article does not support a Republican Truth and hence is Fake News.
Thorium Boy
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 12, 2019
Yes, who cares about increased crime and rotting cities as long as the 1% get richer? Just ask "knife crime" London.
sparcboy
2 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2019
This study uses statistics from the past that have nothing to do with the future. AI, robotics, mechanization, AR, quantum computers, etc. are set to start destroying jobs for humans in the nest decade. Some estimates are 15-20% unemployment by 2030, 40-50% by 2050 and 75-80% by 2075.

How are all of the newly arriving immigrants going to survive with no jobs?
sparcboy
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2019
@V4Vendicar "This article does not support a Republican Truth and hence is Fake News."

Apparently you missed this in the article:
"Researchers studied the effects of immigration into the United States from 1850 to 1920, ..."

In case you're unfamiliar with statistics, that's considered 'cherry picking'.
For example, for much of the first part of this century, American's wages were considered stagnant. Not sure how that statistic can be twisted into the narrative.

Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2019
During that period the US became a superpower and led innovation in many important areas, not only in science and technology. That's why they chose it.

"Cherry picking" would be choosing small pieces of a few years from that data. You're lying. Not to mention dissing the very exceptionalism you claim to espouse.

A troll is a troll is a troll.
JamesG
3 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2019
We have always and still do welcome immigrants. Immigration is good. No one on either side of the political spectrum denies that. But sneaking in in the middle of the night is illegal and wrong.
V4Vendicar
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2019
How are all of the newly arriving immigrants going to survive with no jobs?


Capitalism will provide as it always has.

Communists think otherwise.
V4Vendicar
not rated yet Mar 12, 2019
"Facts are silly things" - Ronald Reagan

"For example, for much of the first part of this century, American's wages were considered stagnant."

Liberal facts are created to be ignored.

If the media wants to be taken seriously by Republicans then it has to start producing Republican facts.

rrwillsj
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2019
oh republicans have given up on facts. that is why their domination of school boards has eroded arts & sciences. especially for children who parents fail to pay the extortion of campaign contributions for republican criminals.

As for the "benefits" of immigration. Anyone of you have the testicles to inquire of the First Nations?

U didn't think any of you had it in you...

As for all you self-proclaimed "Patriotic" "White" "Americans"?
My father's kinfolks agree that none of you qualify as white or American. They agree that you should be deported back to your ancestral cesspools & your god-ordained feudal masters.

You altright fairytails are such cowardly gaggle of copperheads & quisling collaborators.
You preach your holier than thou patriotism as pasteywhite Americans while you are selling out this Nation to the trumpsterfire crime family. .

As you grovel to your master pimp putin & his KGB run fascist axis with the saudi-owned wahhabis cult.
HealingMindN
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2019
This study is from a different era wherein the undocumented immigrants did NOT include a large influx of drugs + dealers, gang members, terrorists & human traffiking. Things change. The world changes. Let us all hope for the return of more innocent times... Until then...
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2019
In that time drugs were not recognized as societal threats, and there were plenty of gangs; La Cosa Nostra was active then. And there was plenty of human trafficking.

You should actually study history instead of trying to revise it.
Puzzled
not rated yet Mar 12, 2019
This study uses statistics from the past that have nothing to do with the future. AI, robotics, mechanization, AR, quantum computers, etc. are set to start destroying jobs for humans in the nest decade. Some estimates are 15-20% unemployment by 2030, 40-50% by 2050 and 75-80% by 2075.

How are all of the newly arriving immigrants going to survive with no jobs?


The immigrants will easily survive. They will take the natives' jobs.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Mar 12, 2019
Experience suggests they'll make new jobs of their own. That the old jobs will wither isn't a problem of their making.
antigoracle
not rated yet Mar 12, 2019
So, how many know that Elon Musk and Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin are immigrants?
Anonym216579
1 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2019
Researchers studied data that is over 100 years old, back when there were no social programs like welfare for people to abuse and leech off of. And back when it was perfectly legal to say "papers please"... If you did immigrate you had to work your arse off to survive. Today they come over, get free stuff and on the taxpayers dime and, take free classes on how to exploit the system, and live high off the hog. Great article by the way. Its always nice to be reminded how far the liberal left will go to try and make a point. Even if it means using absurdly old data to try and draw a modern conclusion.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Mar 13, 2019
annoyingmousie. You do love to show off your ignorance, don'tcha? "Here's your sign!"

If you hadn't slept through your 6th grade history class last year?
You could have learned that the Welfare State your trailer-trash family depends on, was originated by the Progressive Republicans.

Who were concerned with issues such as epidemics, alcohol abuse, gaining educated workers & healthy soldiers.

Now that the Grossly Obscene Pederasts, no longer concern themselves with a Civil Society?
Robots will be replacing all us scruffy little people.
To handle all that tedious minutia of fulfilling the plutocrats whims. Including sexbots?

You & I are redundant to needs. Together with all the other cattle milling in the stockyard. We await our turn into the chutes.
The boltgun to our heads
To find ourselves hanging from meathooks beibg processed through the slaughter-house.

Oh, you ARE stupid enough to believe your master's are capable of gratitude forr your loyal devotion
Robert_D
not rated yet Mar 14, 2019
People should have the freedom to move wherever they want.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Mar 14, 2019
"A border is another word for frontier."
"A line drawn on a map is pretty much wishful mutual delusion.
That the Future will not disrupt all your fabulist expectations!"

For anyone who expects a wall to offer them a sanctuary to cower behind?
Didn;t save China from the Mongols or Turks or Manchurians or Jin.
The "Wall" of the Royal Navy did not stop the U-boats.
Being surrounded by Oceans. does not protect America from ICBMs.
The Berlin Wall did not protect the Soviet Empire.

When you draw a line in the sand? You are imprisoning yourself in an illusion of ignorance that you are strong enough to defend it.
The smart way to view a line in the sand is to consider it an opportunity. To reach over & shake hands. Shrewdly using a friendly greeting as a chance to analyze & take the measure of a possible foe. Who may be induced with friendship to become a useful ally.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Mar 14, 2019
Oh dear, I just offended the self-puffery of fake patriots.
Who are dismayed by any acknowledgement of rational thinking & reasoned discourse.

After all, the comicbooks, videogames, CGI-f/x-video
photoshoped porn they depend on for their education.
Would never subject them to the indignity of suffering intellectual effort.

So for you little boys fuming? Here's a clue about thinking Global Yankee.
Based on the early Bond books of Ian Fleming.
Specifically the CIA agent Felix.

Ex-MIwhatever spook Fleming had his Felix character say to Bond.
"Yeah, I carry a .38 revolver."
James smirked at that revelation!
Felix shakes his head in amusement.
"The way I use a 38?
I walk right up to my target,
With a big smile on my face & a hearty greeting. I thrust out one hand for a vigorous shake. Pulling him towards me & holding him in place.

While my other hand thrusts the barrel of my revolver into his gut & pumping five lead bullets right into him!"

Truly Scrumptious!

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