National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth

47 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2016  

Philipp Ager

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; University of Copenhagen

Date Written: November 8, 2016

Abstract

The introduction of immigration quotas in the 1920s fundamentally changed US migration policy. We exploit this policy change to estimate the effect of immigration on local economic growth and industry development. Our analysis demonstrates that areas with larger pre-existing communities of immigrants of nationalities restricted by the quota system experienced larger population declines in the subsequent decades as the quotas reduced the supply of immigrants to these areas. We then show that the quotas led to negative agglomeration effects in the manufacturing sector, while productivity losses are only visible in urban counties, cities, and immigrant dependent industries. We also …find that the quota system pushed native workers into low-wage occupations.

Keywords: Immigration restrictions, National quota acts, Economic growth

JEL Classification: J11; J61; N12; O11; O47

Suggested Citation

Ager, Philipp and Hansen, Casper Worm, National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth (November 8, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2866411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2866411

Philipp Ager

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

Casper Worm Hansen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen K, DK 1153
Denmark

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

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