Edited by Robert E.B. Lucas
Chapter 3: The economic history of migration: the pre-World War One USA as lens
AbstractThis chapter briefly surveys the principal issues in the economic history of international migration. As a way of framing this vast, unruly topic, I view the issues through the lens of the nation receiving the majority of immigrants historically – the United States prior to World War One. I begin by discussing the economic theory of migration, followed by the history of population movement to the New World from 1500 to 1800. Next, I recount the “Age of Mass Migration”, framed around the important project by Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey G. Williamson. The essay concludes with a discussion of the WWI-era legislation that “closed the door” to the United States and the internal migration of African-Americans that it prompted.
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