The period of industrialization in Europe is also characterized as an episode of mass migration. Between 1850 and 1920 more than 30 million Europeans moved to the United States in the hope of a better life. Policymakers at that time were confronted with concerns about the integration of the newcomers into the U.S. society and whether immigrants would lower wages and displace U.S. native-born workers. Our work assesses how immigration changed the labor market perspectives of U.S. native-born workers and whether the efforts of U.S. policymakers at that time to assimilate the newcomers were successful. Understanding how an economy responded to the massive inflow of immigrants also relates to current debates about how rich countries should respond to higher immigration rates.
Researchers at HEDG currently work on projects funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark related to historical immigration: evaluating the impact of immigration restrictions on local labor markets, the role of immigrant communities for technology transfer, the role of pre-school institutions for the assimilation of immigrant children, and how immigration contributed to the urban mortality premium in the early 20th century. Part of this research agenda has been funded by grants from the Independent Research Fund Denmark with Philipp Ager as principal and co-investigator.
Please address queries to the researcher responsible for this area: Philipp Ager