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Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries

SIEPR
Jul 2020
Working Paper
20-032
By  Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan, Elisa Jácome, Santiago Pérez
Using millions of father-son pairs spanning more than 100 years of US history, we find that children of immigrants from nearly every sending country have higher rates of upward mobility than children of the US-born. Immigrants’ advantage is similar historically and today
despite dramatic shifts in sending countries and US immigration policy. Immigrants achieve this advantage in part by choosing to settle in locations that offer better prospects for their children. These findings are consistent with the “American Dream” view that even poorer immigrants can improve their children’s prospects.
Publication Keywords: 
Intergenerational mobility
Immigration