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Immigration and Assimilation

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PST)

Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 3
Hosted By: American Economic Association
  • Chair: Leah Boustan, Princeton University

Diversity, Immigration, and Redistribution

Alberto Alesina
,
Harvard University
Stefanie Stantcheva
,
Harvard University

Abstract

This paper provides a simple conceptual framework that captures how different perceptions, attitudes, and biases about immigrants or minorities can shape preferences for redistribution and reviews the empirical evidence on the effects of increasing racial diversity and immigration on support for redistribution.

Rationing As a Determinant of Immigrant Composition and Outcomes

Edward Lazear
,
Stanford University

Abstract

Willingness to migrate is a necessary but not sufficient condition for migration from an origin to destination country. For the United States and other countries with an excess supply of immigrants, the slot rationing rule is a key determinant of immigrant composition not captured by supply-based models. A stylized rationing based model better explains the attainment of immigrants in both the US and Sweden with the model’s two variables explaining over 50% of the variation in origin country education attainment and earnings.

Discrimination and the Returns to Cultural Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration

Ran Abramitzky
,
Stanford University
Leah Boustan
,
Princeton University
Katherine Eriksson
,
University of California-Davis
Stephanie Hao
,
Princeton University

Abstract

We document that, in the early twentieth century, children of immigrants who were given more foreign first names completed fewer years of schooling, earned less, and married less assimilated spouses. However, we find few differences in the adult outcomes of brothers who were given more foreign versus more American-sounding first names. This pattern suggests that the negative association between ethnic names and adult outcomes in this era did not stem from discrimination on the basis of first names (although teachers and employers may have discriminated using other ethnic cues), but instead reflects household differences associated with cultural assimilation.
Discussant(s)
Michael Clemens
,
Center for Global Development
JEL Classifications
  • J1 - Demographic Economics