This study examines the occupational mobility of antebellum immigrants as they entered the United States. White collar, skilled, and semiskilled immigrants left unskilled jobs more rapidly after arrival than farmers and unskilled workers. British and German immigrants fared better than the Irish; literate immigrants in rapidly growing counties and places with many immigrants fared best. These findings have implications for (1) the accuracy of estimates of immigrant occupational mobility, (2) the size of the human capital transfer resulting from antebellum immigration, and (3) the causes of the difficulty experienced by some immigrant groups in transferring their skills to the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics