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Productivity and Migration: New Insights From the 19th Century

Apr 2010
Policy Brief
By  Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan
The Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913) was one of the largest migration episodes in history. Unlike today, during this era the US maintained an open border. This column suggests that, unhindered by entry restrictions, Europeans migrants to the US during this period were more likely to be workers with lowerproductivity and poorer economic prospects.