Immigration, Industrial Revolution and Urban Growth in the United States, 1820-1920: Factor Endowments, Technology and Geography

47 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2007 Last revised: 2 Apr 2022

See all articles by Sukkoo Kim

Sukkoo Kim

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 2007

Abstract

Industrial revolution is fundamentally linked with the rise of factories and the decline of skilled artisans in manufacturing. Most scholars agree that factories as compared to artisan shops were intensive in unskilled labor. Indeed, the hallmark of the early factories is the utilization of division of labor of relatively unskilled workers. This paper explores whether the massive influx of unskilled immigrants between 1840 and 1920, by significantly increasing the ratio of unskilled to skilled labor endowment, contributed to the growth and spread of factory manufacturing in the United States. The data indicate that immigration not only contributed to the growth and spread of factories but it also contributed to the growth of cities.

Suggested Citation

Kim, Sukkoo, Immigration, Industrial Revolution and Urban Growth in the United States, 1820-1920: Factor Endowments, Technology and Geography (February 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w12900, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=963734

Sukkoo Kim (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
314-935-4961 (Phone)
314-935-4156 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
3,731
rank
338,613
PlumX Metrics