U.S. Immigration Has Had a Large Positive Long-Run Impact
Our findings provide evidence that helps us better understand the impacts of immigration in United States history. The first is that, in the long-run immigration has had extremely large economic benefits. The second is that there is no evidence that these long-run benefits come at short-run costs. In fact, immigration immediately led to economic benefits for those already living in the area in the form of higher incomes, higher productivity, more innovation, and more industrialization.
This is an excerpt from Jeffrey Miron, Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian, & Sandra Sequoia, “Migrants and the Making of America: The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Immigration During the Age of Mass Migration,” May 31, 2017. It’s based on Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian, and Sandra Sequeira, “Migrants and the Making of America: The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Immigration during the Age of Mass Migration,” January 2017.
Their methodology for reaching this conclusion is very clever: it involves railroads. Take a look for yourself.
Nathan Nunn is at Harvard University and is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research and Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development; Nancy Qian is at Yale University and is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research and Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development; Sandra Sequoia is at the London School of Economics and Center for Economic and Policy Research.
HT2 Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University and the Cato Institute.