Labor Markets in History
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
- Chair: Werner Troesken, University of Pittsburgh
The Uneven Economic Advance of Mexican Americans Before World War II
AbstractVarious explanations for Mexican immigrant and their descendant’s lagging economic progress in recent decades do not apply one hundred years ago: English skills were less valuable, inequality was decreasing, ethnic enclaves were smaller, and undocumented entry was not criminalized until 1929. Using new data from full-count censuses prior to 1940, we show that despite more favorable conditions, Mexican migrants were lower skilled than natives and other non-English-speaking Europeans, invested less in English skills after arrival, and remained in a uniquely low position for at least three to four generations. Since progress was slow both then and now, this suggests that relatively poor outcomes for Mexican Americans are partially due to factors that are constant across the last hundred years, such as discrimination, geographic isolation, or sorting into neighborhoods with lower quality schools.
Bad Luck or Bad Workers? A View of the Long-term Unemployed in the Great Depression Through Matched Census Records
AbstractIn this paper, we use matched Census record from the 1940, 1930, 1920, and 1910 Censuses to see what the long-term unemployed, identified in 1940, looked like in previous Censuses. This will allow us to see the degree to which unemployment outcomes were determined by worker quality versus bad luck in being unemployed during the Depression. We also get a much richer view of the long-term unemployed as the Depression is ending, being able to see workers at a fine level of disaggregation. We can also see how those on emergency relief programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) compared versus other workers over these three decades.
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- J0 - General