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Immigration Policy and the Shaping of U.S. Culture

Becoming America

Roger White

The author examines the relationships between immigration policy, observed immigration patterns, and cultural differences between the United States and immigrants’ source countries. The entirety of U.S. immigration history (1607-present) is reviewed through a recounting of related legislative acts and by examining data on immigrant inflows and cross-societal cultural distances.
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Chapter 6: Identifying the determinants of U.S. immigration

Becoming America

Roger White

Extract

We introduce the gravity model of international migration as the general framework for our econometric analysis, and we discuss our data sources and the construction of related variables. Having presented the empirical models and data, we examine data that span the period from 1820 through 2015 to identify the determinants of annual immigrant inflows to the U.S. and of annual inflow share values. Our models are estimated both with and without time (i.e., year) and source country fixed effects terms, and alternative functional forms and modified empirical specifications are estimated to test the robustness of our primary results.

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