The earlier age of mass migration to America also brought political backlash

by on November 15, 2017 at 12:14 am in Data Source, Economics, History, Law, Political Science | Permalink

Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration (2017). JOB MARKET PAPER
Abstract: In this paper, I show that political opposition to immigration can arise even when immigrants bring significant economic prosperity to receiving areas. I exploit exogenous variation in European immigration to US cities between 1910 and 1930 induced by World War I and the Immigration Acts of the 1920s, and instrument immigrants’ location decision relying on pre-existing settlement patterns. Immigration increased natives’ employment and occupational standing, and fostered industrial production and capital utilization. However, it lowered tax rates, public spending, and the pro-immigration party’s (i.e., Democrats) vote share. The inflow of immigrants was also associated with the election of more conservative representatives, and with rising support for anti-immigration legislation. I provide evidence that political backlash was increasing in the cultural distance between immigrants and natives, suggesting that diversity might be economically beneficial but politically hard to manage.

That is from Marco Tabellini, job market candidate at MIT.

1 skeptic November 15, 2017 at 1:19 am

Obvious some immigrants bring benefits (e.g. Tamil Brahmins); equally obvious most bring negative net value when you look at incarceration, welfare, their lower IQ’s, those costs for kids, etc.

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2 clockwork_prior November 15, 2017 at 6:06 am

Let me step in and quote one of Steve Sailer’s favorite authors on this subject, Benjamin Franklin, making his prediction, the accuracy of which you are welcome to judge for yourself, concerning the perils of allowing the wrong sort of people into the U.S., and what would surely happen if it was allowed to continue – ‘And since Detachments of English from Britain sent to America, will have their Places at Home so soon supply’d and increase so largely here; why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.’ https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-04-02-0080

Und was ist passiert? Nichts, mindestens in Amerika. Deutschland, aber ….

(And do note that Franklin does not consider Germans, or any other Europeans for that matter, to be white, with the exception of the Saxons – ‘And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth.’)

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3 aMichael November 15, 2017 at 9:21 am

While we’re quoting and talking up Benjamin Franklin, can I recommend one of his more cogent analyses on life, “Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress”?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advice_to_a_Friend_on_Choosing_a_Mistress

“The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.”

If this doesn’t prove that this is a man whose sage advice and opinions we should follow in all avenues of life and politics, then I don’t know what would be convincing.

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4 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

I guess Moore would have been better off had he read that a few decades ago.

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5 Scoop November 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

I believe, C – P , that he is talking about Amish people, who have assimulated less in the past 300 years there any other immigrant group ever.

Had they kept coming at the speed they were in Franklin’s time, they would have come to dominate Pennsylvania and that would probably have been bad news for people who didn’t fancy barn raising.

So I’m really not sure that Ben Franklin comes off looking like the idiot here.

PS Anyone who has ever looked will notice that Scandinavians are darker than English people if they get any sun because they tan rather than turning pink and blotchy.

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6 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 7:40 am

That hardly seems ‘equally obvious’. Our crime rate is lower today than it was two decades ago, yet we have a large number of immigrants. Is there any evidence that average IQ is lower today than it was in 1990, 1980, 1970 or 1950? If it is then how does that square with the fact that the US is on the cutting edge of innovation? Apple, Google, Facebook, are all US companies. Japan, which had a good run in the 80’s, seems to have lost that edge yet you would think their less immigration friendly environment would have preserved that all important IQ quotient. “those costs for kids, etc.” pretty meaningless. Yes kids cost money while adults have jobs and produce GDP. But until Star Wars style cloning is here, you don’t get adults unless you first get kids.

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7 DevOps Dad November 15, 2017 at 7:32 pm

“Is there any evidence that average IQ is lower today than it was in 1990, 1980, 1970 or 1950?”

Are you kidding? Aren’t you familiar with the weakness California’s population in the great central valley or much of Los Angles?
When the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments in mathematics, reading, writing, and science at grades 4, 8 and 12 come out and state comparisons are made, our governor Jerry Brown is heard to exclaim, “Thank God for Mississippi” because California has not come in last.
In some years Mississippi surpasses California in some age groups.

https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/profiles/stateprofile?chort=2&sub=SCI&sj=AL&sfj=NP&st=MN&year=2015R3

California’s long standing ‘open borders’ policy has resulted in a population bifurcated by IQ.

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8 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 9:35 pm

In other news, I understand fewer high scores are being recorded at arcades that still have coin operated Pac Man video games!

First, you toss out comparisons between states which says nothing. 50 states there will always be one state that’s #1 and one that’s #50. How does that support an argument that our IQ as a whole has been negatively impacted by immigration?

Second, who the hell knows if NAEP tracks IQ or teaching methods or simply ‘teaching to the test’? Can you show me evidence that Mississippi is surging economically due to their superior education system churning out genius level grads while California suffers for a surplus of dolts?

Third, if your argument is that California has imported low IQ people but also has very high IQ people, that still begs a ‘so what’? What’s better, a diversity of IQ scores or equality in the supply of stupid? Again show me actual facts here. The average captures both those doing very badly and those doing very well so does Mississippi do better in terms of economic averages like GDP per capita?

I’m starting to think the only IQ problem the US has is allowing nativist orientated commentators to have IP addresses.

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9 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 11:20 pm

“I’m starting to think the only IQ problem the US has is allowing nativist orientated commentators to have IP addresses.”

Well look who’s a closest authoritarian. Color me shocked.

10 DevOps Dad November 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

“I’m starting to think the only IQ problem the US has is allowing nativist orientated commentators to have IP addresses.”

Well, that’s about as informed and weighted as his other points. How sad. Had he read the NAEP web pages provided and learned how granulated and applicable the test results, perhaps we could have a discussion, but he walks away muttering.

11 Boonton November 16, 2017 at 7:39 am

“Well look who’s a closest authoritarian. Color me shocked.”

This would apply if you can show I ever brought into this idea that goosing an average IQ metric up means anything worthwhile.

But it is actually what you are proposing. If you don’t like the average score you can work to increase it or you could exclude those with below average scores to boost it up. Increasing it is hard work, excluding those with lower scores is easy work but leaves the problem for someone else to pick up. You’ve demonstrated that states that are less immigrant friendly may achieve better scores on average, yet does that translate into a better state?

Put it another way, suppose you are teaching a gym class and let two captains take turns picking the players on their teams. Aside from the first pick, each captain is going to get roughly the average of the entire gym class since they will each pick the best players available each time. On the other hand, suppose you let one captain have the first ten picks, but the second captain gets to play with an extra ten players on his team. I could see that resulting in the first player having a higher quality average player on his team but the second team always winning HOWEVER it would be impossible to really know who is the better captain….and it would be quite possible for both to be equal captains or either one to be better than the other.

“Had he read the NAEP web pages provided and learned how granulated and applicable the test results”

1. Not seeing anything connecting the NAEP to IQ, in fact the descriptions about it seem the opposite….it’s attempting to measure how much knowledge has been acquired in various subjects. IQ may be related to this but this is like saying you will measure how in shape kids are by seeing how skilled they are at ice hokey. Yes to be really good at that you need to be in shape but you also need to be training for that particular sport.

2. Not seeing the connection between good performance on the NAEP and actual macro-economic performance. People who obsess over school performance have a habit of becoming fetishists for particular tests. But a test is only helpful if it actually measures something. If some state has a lower test score but more jobs, people, income and growth….that says more about the quality of using the test than the state.

12 Joël November 15, 2017 at 2:15 am

Was the “the pro-immigration party” the “Democrats” during the period considered, 1910-1930?? That seems to be an oversimplified assumption, to say the least.

Let us take the exact middle of the period, 1920, where there was a democratic convention in June for the presidential election. The long platform published then by the democratic party contains only two references to “immigration”, both in the following paragraph: “Asiatic Immigrants. — The policy of the United States with reference to the non-admission of Asiatic immigrants is a true expression of the judgment of our people, and to the several states, whose geographical situation or internal conditions make this policy, and the enforcement of the laws enacted pursuant thereto, of particular concern, we pledge our support.” Read it there: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29592.

So much for the “pro-immigration party”. Does this guy know what he is talking about?

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13 Joël November 15, 2017 at 2:30 am

Again in the 1924 democratic platform, the only reference to immigration is “Asiatic Immigration. —
We pledge ourselves to maintain our established position in favor of the exclusion of Asiatic immigration.”
And in 1928, “Immigration. — Laws which limit immigration must be preserved in full force and effect, but the provisions contained in these laws that separate husbands from wives and parents from infant children are inhuman and not essential to the purpose or the efficacy of such laws.”

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14 Brian Donohue November 15, 2017 at 6:19 am

At the time, the politically powerful (capitalists) were hard line in favor of immigration.

The nascent labor movement was hostile to immigration.

All very obvious from a textbook economic standpoint.

Immigration has never been a strictly left/right or Dem/GOP issue.

Also, pace of change/upheaval is obviously important to the popular mood toward immigration.

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15 Ray Lopez November 15, 2017 at 2:41 am

@Joel- never confuse a campaign platform with an actual policy of a party. In any case, this next sentence shows the Democrats actually lost out from increased immigration, since they apparently voted for the other party once they became successful.

“However, it lowered tax rates, public spending, and the pro-immigration party’s (i.e., Democrats) vote share. “

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16 Roy LC November 15, 2017 at 4:49 am

Democratic machines before FDR were local spoils systems usually run for a particular ethnic group that cut in other ethnic groups to the minimum required. From about 1900 the Irish who controlled many of these machines and the Catholic Germans, Czechs, Poles etc… they had partnered with began to lose power and had to increase newcomer groups share of first spoils and then political power. So they were directly competing with new immigrants, and the last thing the machines surrendered was their access to the national party.

Keep in mind the 1924 immigration act set a quota of 51,000 for Germans and 28,000 Irish, during this period in many years the Irish and German quotas were not even met. Meanwhile Poland’s 5,800 and Italy’s 3,800 were usually filled very early and the quota for all of the rest of Southeastern Europe, including Austria totaled less than 3000.

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17 Roy LC November 15, 2017 at 4:49 am

My source on the quotas:
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5078

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18 Anglo-Saxon November 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Democrats needed the votes, including dixiecrats. Remember at this time, starting from 1896 and lasting I would argue to 1964, were social nationalists. They supported economic federalism and states rights social conservatism. Of course you had some more conservative like Parker or Davis, more “liberal” like Wilson or FDR. But the key alliance held. Even many bourboncrats stuck together in the south due to Jim Crow support. The Republicans were the northern Anglo-Saxons and “niggers”. Heck, I would argue FDR era was the height of the whole era after the Republicans got blamed for the great crash. The peak of economic federalism and social conservative views in one machine.

They had to dilute that. Bring in the Italians, pols, irish ete to dilute that nigger vote in the south that went 90% Republican. What is funnier in hell today, with the loss of the dixiecrats, democrats have needed more immigrants to vote, yet half of the white working class doesn’t vote. If Democrats started getting even 50% of that missing vote, it would trigger the end of the Reagan era and the beginning of a new regime. That was the key behind the Sanders primary campaign. He was not a good candidate, way to jewy and a crook to top it off. But he showed economic federalism, anti-immigration and pro-feminist ideology can tap into that non-voting white base and bring them out of the work work. The point? Democrats would not need immigrant or the hispanic vote anymore.

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19 Miguel Madeira November 15, 2017 at 6:47 am

The difference was small, but the majority of votes in favour the Immigration Act of 1924 were from Republican and the majority of votes against were from Democrats.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/68-1/h55

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20 PD Shaw November 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm

I’d go back further. The Immigration Act of 1907 was passed on nearly a party-line vote, with almost all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against. This law mainly restricted immigration from people who would become a public charge, but it also created a bi-partisan commission that would issue a report in 1910 about the changing nature of immigrants since 1890 and proposing a literacy test as the most effective control. Taft vetoes a literacy test in 1913 (after he lost his re-election bid), and Wilson does as well in 1915 and 1917, but on that last effort, he is overridden by 2/3rds of Congress. (73% of both Rs and Ds voted for override in the House).

What it looks like to me is that this was a Republican issue that became overwhelming popular and a wedge-issue for Democrats. Also, its not just the partisan breakdowns that are relevant. Democrats won the POTUS and both houses of Congress in 1912, but by 1920 Republicans completely controlled the government. The beneficiary of the transition were conservative Republicans (not moderate/liberal Republicans).

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21 yify November 15, 2017 at 2:52 am

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22 msgkings November 15, 2017 at 3:33 am

This bot slays me. Sounds like some 32 year old trying to hang with high school kids.

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23 Careless November 16, 2017 at 11:19 pm

I would love to know how many of those posts they need to make to get one productive click

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24 rayward November 15, 2017 at 7:27 am

Hostility towards immigrants can’t be separated from hostility towards any identifiable group of “others”. Yesterday I read a profile of the American Nazi Andrew Anglin in The Atlantic. Did all those immigrants in America cause Anglin to adopt white nationalist views? Apparently not, since he adopted his most extreme views while living with primitives in the jungle in (among other places) the Philippines. No, he didn’t learn extremist views from the natives in the jungle, but somehow it hardened his hatred of “others” including Jews and blacks and women as well as immigrants. Go figure. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/the-making-of-an-american-nazi/544119/

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25 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

Go figure is apt, also a warning sign. It’s easy to look at interesting stories about individuals and think that indicates something larger when it may not. Most racists in the US who are obsessed with Jews and Blacks never spent any time in Philippine jungles.

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26 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 8:52 am

A certain partisanship covers for a certain reality.

The senior intelligence official I interviewed expressed the same concern. “I don’t think we’ve seen a change at all in Russian activity,” she told me. “They are still trying to use race, religion, Democrats, Republicans, E.U., nato issues as a division. They are still on social media in every way. There’s no change.” The official expressed worry because there has been no intense public debate in the United States, as there has been in the Baltics and Ukraine, about how to respond to Russian disinformation. “I don’t think we’ve been through the same national conversation as Ukraine and other countries to say we will use everything we can to defend against it,” she said.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/russias-election-meddling-is-another-american-intelligence-failure/amp

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27 Barry O November 15, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hey Mitt, the 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back.

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28 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

Even Mitt is woke these days.

But his old fear of conventional conflict, requiring a build-up of conventional forces, is not really what happened.

29 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 10:54 am

For reference, here is the original Romney “geopolitical foe” interview:

http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/26/romney-russia-is-our-number-one-geopolitical-foe/

In retrospect it looks half right, but rather than worrying about missiles we should have worried about asymmetric conflict.

30 No Sauce For the Gander November 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

Remember when the CIA helped put Yeltsin over the top? Good times.

Who do those meddling Russians think they are anyway?

31 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

CIA active measures, as opposed to information gathering, have set some bad precedents. And engendered serious blowback.

32 chuck martel November 15, 2017 at 9:02 am

The interesting part is that the digital media has given a voice to isolated, inconsequential, ignorant bozos who would have been limited to spreading their opinions from bar stools and soap boxes in an earlier age.

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33 The Anti-Gnostic November 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

Yes, and they got a President elected despite being out-organized, out-spent and with practically the entire pundit, politician, multi-national business, and academic class aligned against them.

Free speech is great as long as your side’s winning, amirite?

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34 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 10:22 am

See above. America has not processed what happened.

And too many are still reveling in their own alignment with this attack on American democracy.

35 The Anti-Gnostic November 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

Didn’t some Russians buy, what 100 THOUSAND dollars of Facebook ads?

60M+ Americans, many from fervent “Better dead than Red” backgrounds, voted for Trump. You lack a theory of mind.

36 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

How droll.

Our neighbor who Facebook-forwarded those planted stories to us all summer and fall of 2016 was not paid, was not a spy, was not a bot.

She was just aligned.

37 Jan Brady November 15, 2017 at 11:35 am

Russia Russia Russia.

38 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

There are two kinds of comments, those that seek to share a truth or perspective, and those who seek to deny truths or perspectives.

It sometimes hard to scan for which comments are which, to ascertain best intent.

But you know, stuff like “Russia Russia Russia” makes it easy.

39 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 12:05 pm

“Yes, and they got a President elected despite being out-organized, out-spent and with practically the entire pundit, politician, multi-national business, and academic class aligned against them.

Free speech is great as long as your side’s winning, amirite?”

That’s correct. The Democrats are obsessed with trying to explain Trump’s win on Russian meddling or racism or sexism or ignorance. They’d be better off actually listening to what the voters are saying and responding. But that might require them to actually change their policies.

40 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Actually fewer people “explain Trump’s win [with] Russian meddling” than fearfully block every “Russia” comment.

Again, sometimes motivations are easy to spot.

41 Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm
42 Brian Donohue November 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Q: Mainstream journalists have called Trump a puppet of Russia, a modern version of the Manchurian Candidate… What is your view of this situation?”

A: My guess is that most of the world is just collapsing in laughter. Suppose all the charges are true, I mean every single one, it is so amateurish by US standards that you can hardly even laugh.

– Noam Chomsky, noted alt-right lunatic

43 Anglo-Saxon November 15, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Sorry, but Trumps “win” was a constitutional technicality. He did not win, it was a tie. The 2016 election was a broken electorate, much like the 2000 election and I would argue the 1992 election. He needs to win 2018 to validate it like W did in 2002 or end up like Clinton in 1995.

44 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 7:49 am

At first glance the backlash dynamic doesn’t make sense. If immigrants add a lot of new people to the mix, they also add lots of new voters to the mix. How could there be a political backlash? Even if older voters align against immigration, when previously they might have favored or been indifferent to it, aren’t they outnumbered by newer voters as a result of the immigration?

BUT what if the backlash is partly coming from the immigrants themselves? For example, the Irish established themselves in the 2nd half of the 1800’s, overcame discrimination and took political power (see Gangs of New York). But then the influx of Italian immigrants would be a threat to that power, so perhaps it isn’t so much old ‘white’ voters lashing out against immigration as much as it is older voters uniting with less fresh immigrant voters against newer immigrants? That would imply any wave of immigration will be followed by an anti-immigration wave regardless of racial composition or motivation of the population. This might also imply an immigration wave that is not tied to potential future waves would not generate a backlash. For example, the integration of East Germany to West Germany probably had a good amount of culture shock but would not produce an immediate backlash as it wouldn’t logically be followed by immigration from bordering nations like Poland. Or the immigration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland US since they have the unique status of US citizens which is not shared by other Latin American groups.

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45 clockwork_prior November 15, 2017 at 8:57 am

‘For example, the integration of East Germany to West Germany probably had a good amount of culture shock but would not produce an immediate backlash’

Different circumstances, but actually, Kohl and co. did a masterful job deflecting attention from hundreds of thousands of East Germans moving to the old BRD, creating scarcity (and a resulting increase in cost) in housing. The CDU, helped likely unintentionally by the extreme right wing (‘the boat is full’ being one of their gentler slogans) was consistent in blaming all these problems on asylum seekers, quite successfully. This being based on actually living here at the time, and watching how it unfolded. Basically everyone assumed that the reason for the ‘Wohnungsnot’ was foreigners, though the real population shift was intra-German.

But scapegoating is an old European game (to the point of genocide in Germany, of course), which may not quite be the same as a backlash.

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46 Miguel Madeira November 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

“At first glance the backlash dynamic doesn’t make sense. If immigrants add a lot of new people to the mix, they also add lots of new voters to the mix. How could there be a political backlash? Even if older voters align against immigration, when previously they might have favored or been indifferent to it, aren’t they outnumbered by newer voters as a result of the immigration?”

I imagine that usually immigrants don’t have immediate right to vote – if immigrants (or their cildren) only voted some decades after arrival, this mean: a) immigrant vote does not have impact during the immigration wave itself; b) many immigrants, when they vote, already don feel immigrants

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47 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 11:13 am

https://cis.org/Projecting-Immigrations-Impact-Size-and-Age-Structure-21st-Century-American-Population figure 2 shows the foreign born portion of the US went from just below 5% in 1970 to maybe 10% in 2000. The next 30 years to 2030 would likely put the US around 17%. The real growth then already happened. 10% of the foreign born population has already been here for at least 17 years or as much as 47 years. They are already well established and are likely voting by now if they are ever going to vote. The next 7%, well looks like 4% or so is already here with the next 3% being between now and 2018.

So if you consider 2016 to or the few years before that to be the ‘backlash’ years against immigration that doesn’t fit IMO with the idea of a huge bulge in immigrants who haven’t figured out how to register to vote getting attacked in elections by a native population that unites around an anti-immigration theme.

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48 Careless November 16, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Are you really asking how, if you make life worse for what is now 95% of the population, they can outvote the new 5% of the population?

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49 dearieme November 15, 2017 at 8:38 am

“diversity might be economically beneficial but politically hard to manage”: because humans have feelings about things other than money. Even in the US.

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50 jorod November 16, 2017 at 12:30 am

I have heard it said that India is the most diverse, and the most violent, country in the world.

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51 Slugger November 15, 2017 at 9:49 am

For me the best source for identifying the realities of immigration to the US in the early twentieth century is The Godfather. The cinematic parts I and II are great. “I believe in America.”

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52 chuck martel November 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

All Americans, with the exception of a few surviving aboriginals scattered about the least hospitable areas of the country, are immigrants but some have more immigrant seniority than others. They have classified themselves as true natives and other later immigrants as undeserving of admittance to the national club.

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53 The Anti-Gnostic November 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Actually, most Americans were born here.

What is the source for the notion that a “nation of immigrants” must never be allowed to become a nation of natives?

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54 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

“allowed to become”? Allow implies a natural process simply following through without any attempt at interference. To the degree that there is any coherence coming from the Trump side of politics in regards to immigration restriction, it is on the alt-rights side and they are opposed to ‘allowing’ anything to follow its natural course. They want policies to force immigration to drastically reduce. Only problem, aside from white supremacists, they haven’t provided any clear headed reason why this is something we should get behind.

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55 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

“Only problem, aside from white supremacists, they haven’t provided any clear headed reason why this is something we should get behind.”

That’s a truly pathetic comment. Low skilled immigration, particularly illegal immigration, has been putting downward pressure on low skilled wages in the US. There are countless articles on the relative wage stagnation that the nation has experienced over the last few decades and that wage stagnation is mostly a factor for those without a college degree. Which would be the cohort directly competing with low skilled immigrants. It’s perfectly rational for those affected to push for political change.

For you to attempt to classify this as “white supremacism” or racism is a cheap and despicable debate tactic.

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56 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Then you will show me ample wage growth in Japan where low paid immigrants cannot easily compete with natives for jobs.

57 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Nice attempt to move the Goal Posts Boonton. You said “white supremacist”, now you are trying to argue comparative wage growth between Japan ( a country with a rapidly aging population) and US low skilled workers. That’s a classic apples to oranges situation.

Regardless of the answer to your question, it doesn’t come close to proving racism is the motive for a push to stop illegal immigration.

58 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm

“George J. Borjas is professor of economics and social policy at the Harvard Kennedy School ”

“This second message might be hard for many Americans to process, but anyone who tells you that immigration doesn’t have any negative effects doesn’t understand how it really works. When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay to hire workers goes down. Wage trends over the past half-century suggest that a 10 percent increase in the number of workers with a particular set of skills probably lowers the wage of that group by at least 3 percent. Even after the economy has fully adjusted, those skill groups that received the most immigrants will still offer lower pay relative to those that received fewer immigrants.

Both low- and high-skilled natives are affected by the influx of immigrants. But because a disproportionate percentage of immigrants have few skills, it is low-skilled American workers, including many blacks and Hispanics, who have suffered most from this wage dip. The monetary loss is sizable. The typical high school dropout earns about $25,000 annually. According to census data, immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma have increased the size of the low-skilled workforce by roughly 25 percent. As a result, the earnings of this particularly vulnerable group dropped by between $800 and $1,500 each year.”

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/trump-clinton-immigration-economy-unemployment-jobs-214216

Just to be clear, Borjas argues that immigration has been a net gain overall, but that it’s a net negative for low skilled American workers.

59 chuck martel November 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

JWatts@3;37 pm
Considering the entire economy, what’s particularly bad about low-skilled, low-wage workers? Isn’t it better for American homeowners to pay less to have their house re-roofed by a crew of immigrant roofers than spend significantly more to have US workers do it? And, if it’s not, why are Hispanic roofing crews busy in every US suburb?

“…because a disproportionate percentage of immigrants have few skills,” Do Norte Americanos have MORE skills than the less-educated immigrants or different ones? Are there classes in roofing and dry wall construction in US high schools? Is it unfortunate that less-educated immigrants aren’t doctors, attorneys, airline pilots, architects and lion tamers? I guess so but their kids will probably get some of those jobs, like the kids of 19th century Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants.

“The monetary loss is sizable.” You can’t lose what you’ve never had. It can’t be said that someone who’s spent their life as a $25K/year janitor lost money because he wasn’t a vice president of operations for Delta Airlines. The money that the janitor didn’t make is retained by others in the economy that use it to buy bass boats and pay for cable television, two things the janitor himself is probably buying.

“… immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma….” Chances are that a high school diploma from some place in south Asia isn’t going to impress the HR department at GE, anyway. Does anyone seriously believe that a US high school diploma is indicative of anything more than enough class attendance to avoid truancy?

60 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

“Isn’t it better for American homeowners to pay less to have their house re-roofed by a crew of immigrant roofers than spend significantly more to have US workers do it? ”

It’s not better for the American homeowner if a) their one of the low skilled wage earners who are taking the hit or b) their taxes have to go up to pay for a low skilled wage earner who now pays less taxes because they make less income or have managed to obtain disability or have take early retirement.

There’s a distinct substitution effect whereby a displaced low wage earner becomes a higher burden on the public purse.

61 chuck martel November 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Your argument seems to include the assertion that low-skilled workers, both foreign and domestic, will be low-skilled forever, somewhat like the Puritan theory of predestination. Since nobody is born with any particular skills, they must be acquired through life experience. Maybe you could say that low-skilled brown people are incapable of learning skills but it’s not likely that any intelligent person would agree with that. It would seem reasonable that educated Americans would have a significant advantage over simple-minded immigrants and be easily able to compete with them for jobs on the basis of ability. The immigrants themselves aren’t so ignorant as to be oblivious to the prevailing wages for various jobs. You can discover this for yourself by trying to hire some help in the Phoenix Home Depot parking lot.

62 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Nice attempt to move the Goal Posts Boonton. You said “white supremacist”, now you are trying to argue comparative wage growth between Japan ( a country with a rapidly aging population) and US low skilled workers. That’s a classic apples to oranges situation.

Not at all. If low skilled immigration is harming wage growth in the US as a whole, or at the bottom then Japan should be the perfect demonstration of the opposite. Aging population combined with very limited immigration should mean excellent wage growth for those still holding jobs at all levels.

63 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm

JWatts

Regardless of the answer to your question, it doesn’t come close to proving racism is the motive for a push to stop illegal immigration.

Nope, I didn’t say racism is THE motive to stop immigration (legal or not is kind of silly, that’s like saying people who think the speed limit should be 65 mph are ‘legalizing speeders’, since the law sets the speed limit a speeder becomes a normal motorist the moment the speed limit is raised or an outlaw if it is lowered).

I did say of those advocating immigration restriction, white supremacists have a coherent argument. They favor white people therefore less immigration means fewer nonwhite people coming to the US. As noted in a great movie:

“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”

Among the non-white supremacists immigration restrictionists on the Trumpian right, we have nothing but lies and incoherence…like we must ban immigration from North Korea but not Egypt or Saudi Arabia to stop Islamic terrorism…..or perhaps almost as funny if not so pathetic is a sudden supposed concern for those earning less than $25K per year.

““This second message might be hard for many Americans to process, but anyone who tells you that immigration doesn’t have any negative effects doesn’t understand how it really works. When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay to hire workers goes down. Wage trends over the past half-century suggest that a 10 percent increase in the number of workers with a particular set of skills probably lowers the wage of that group by at least 3 percent. Even after the economy has fully adjusted, those skill groups that received the most immigrants will still offer lower pay relative to those that received fewer immigrants.”

So you are saying the income going to labor decreases by 3% while the income going to capital increases accordingly? So why not simply increase corporate income and capital gains tax while cutting income tax?

The ‘no negative effects’ line is a straw man. Electricity has negative effects, an argument that we should all ‘go Amish’ needs a bit more than asserting there are some ‘negative effects’ linked to electricity.

The typical high school dropout earns about $25,000 annually. According to census data, immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma have increased the size of the low-skilled workforce by roughly 25 percent. As a result, the earnings of this particularly vulnerable group dropped by between $800 and $1,500 each year.”

As a result? We are seeing inequality growing all along the income line. The super duper rich are more richer than the simple super rich today than they were 10 years ago. The ‘winner take all’ nature of many economic innovations seems to mean the bottom is destined to really be the bottom. For example, Wal-Mart cashier/stocker is probably always going to be a low paying job and worse compared to cashier/stocker at mom & pop store….but at the same time there are fewer mom & pop stores because of Wal-Mart. Taxi drivers make less than they used to because of Uber and Lyft. If you tell me earnings of the low-skilled force has dropped by $800-$1500/year I’d like to know how much of this you attribute to immigration driving down wages and how much to the nature of rising inequality?

Of course cashier/stocker is the tip of the iceberg. A lot of job options that were out there for HS dropouts in, say, 1970, would be found in heavy industry….mining, construction, manufacturing. We know automation hit these industries hard, especially auto manufacturing.

It’s not better for the American homeowner if a) their one of the low skilled wage earners who are taking the hit or b) their taxes have to go up to pay for a low skilled wage earner who now pays less taxes because they make less income or have managed to obtain disability or have take early retirement.

In other words the upper 75% should pay higher prices in the hope that it translates into marginally better wages for the bottom 25%? It seems like it would be cheaper to just do direct transfers to the bottom 25% and let the market compete to achieve the lowest prices possible. As for their taxes going up, why would they? Roofing is hard work and I suppose there’s a chance it will disable a worker early. Are non-immigrant roofers more immune to gravity and bad backs?

64 JWatts November 15, 2017 at 11:26 pm

“Maybe you could say that low-skilled brown people are incapable of learning skills but …”

So instead of addressing the logic, you go with insinuating I’m a racist. That’s a pathetic and lazy response.

65 The Anti-Gnostic November 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Isn’t the “natural course” for people to draw lines around themselves and become ethnic nation-states? And isn’t it natural for people to want their tribe at the top of the pyramid? I know we’re in Year Zero and all that, but if you’re going to use terms like “natural course,” I think you’re looking at a different outcome based on history to date.

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66 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm

It’s not a ‘natural process’ if you are trying to argue for implementing a whole bunch of policies designed to make it happen. That implies you have some case for why we should be making an effort to achieve that outcome, not just throwing up your hands and saying things like it’s ‘natural’ for people to try to make a mono-ethnic state out of a multi-ethnic one.

67 Petar November 16, 2017 at 10:22 am

“It’s not a ‘natural process’ if you are trying to argue for implementing a whole bunch of policies designed to make it happen. ”

Don’t let the fact that those bunch of policies are desired by a majority of the people in every ethnic group possessing a nation state on the planet get in the way of your moronic argument for their “unnaturalness”, cucked scum.

68 Boonton November 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

At any point do you alt-right snowflakes actually try to make an argument for an actual policy?

69 Petar November 16, 2017 at 11:11 am

Here’s not an argument but a recommendation:
Go live in the third world with your subhuman friends. You’ll fit there.
You don’t fit here.

70 Boonton November 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

I feel bad for how cognitively stunted your ideology has left you.

71 chuck martel November 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

It might be legitimate to base citizenship on nativity or it may not. Of course, in the case of the US, this is determined by legislative fiat. Ex-slaves became US citizens in 1868, aboriginal Americans in 1928. So if you feel that reality is a gift of the US Congress and that they get to determine the extent of the immigrant population, everything is peachy. Not everyone agrees. Just like not everyone agrees with poisoning ethanol, asset forfeiture, the war on drugs or sugar tariffs.

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72 The Anti-Gnostic November 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm

The interesting thing about ancestral membership in a nation is that, unlike citizenship, the government can’t take it away from you. Ancestral nations seem to have pretty good staying power so long as they can defend their geographic redoubts, in contrast to propositional empires. I’m always puzzled by libertarian hostility to ancestry.

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73 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

“Ancestral nations seem to have pretty good staying power so long as they can defend their geographic redoubts, in contrast to propositional empires. I’m always puzzled by libertarian hostility to ancestry.”

What does this mean? Kurds have been around for thousands of years. Governments have come and gone, boundaries moved back and forth, but they remain. So is that staying power? Staying power seems to simply mean that an ethnic group will mostly stay put absent massive disasters like a genocide or direct expulsion.

But what is the practicality of this? You can’t start a new nation based on staying power. If a lot of Americans move to Ireland, that wouldn’t be a new ancestral nation of Ireland, you’d have to wait around for multiple generations to get that. If a bunch of Americans moved to a colony on the moon, that couldn’t be an ancestral nation, at least not at the beginning. So what are libertarians supposed to be embracing? Coming up with some arbitrary number of generations to declare an ‘ancestor’ of some place and trying to get everyone without the proper ‘time on the soil’ to sort themselves back to where they came from?

74 dux.ie November 15, 2017 at 8:28 pm

“””Ancestral nations seem to have pretty good staying power so long as they can defend their geographic redoubts”””

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/health/united-states-fertility-rate.html

“””The present overall fertility rate puts the United States population below replacement level, but that does not mean the population is declining. “Yes, it’s below replacement level, but not dramatically so,” Dr. Brady said. “We have a high level of influx of immigrants that compensates for it.” “””

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartiate

“””Since Spartiates were required to marry late, birth rates were low, and it was difficult to replace losses from the class. … Since the constitution included no provisions for promotion to Spartiate status, the number of Spartiates gradually dwindled as the classical period wore on. By the mid-4th century BC, the number of Spartiates had been critically reduced, although Sparta continued to hold sway over much of Greece. Finally, at Leuctra in 371 BC, a Theban army decisively defeated a Spartan force, killing 400 Spartiates of a force of 700 and breaking the back of Spartan military power. In 370 BC, Messenia was liberated by a Theban army, destroying the basis of the Spartan social system. The Spartan state never recovered its former power, and the Spartan army, by the later 3rd century, was not particularly superior to other hoplite armies in Greece.”””

75 Boonton November 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm

I’m sorry were the Spartiate’s a ‘nation’? Your source says at their zenith they numbered 8,000 fighting males. That’s impressive but the population of Ancient Greece was around 10-13 million in 400 BC. You’ve expressed an anecdote, not data.

76 dux.ie November 15, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Was “Ancient Greece” a nation or a collection of city states? Was Thebes a nation or a city state? Is comparison of two entities of similar size not reasonable? Do you think that all countries nowadays are city states?

Beside that. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/12/01/general-army-struggles-meet-goal-80000-recruits/94757310/

77 Boonton November 16, 2017 at 9:28 am

“Was “Ancient Greece” a nation or a collection of city states? Was Thebes a nation or a city state?”

The first question is interesting, but I don’t think it’s relevant to your original point.

Thebes was a city state and not a nation. Sample size of n=1 is not a good way to support an argument, a sample size of n=-.000001 is even worse.

78 dux.ie November 16, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Currently you can watch a potential train wreck in slow motion. A nation with low fertility rate and does not want to explore the immigration alternative. Japanese have significant genomic similarity with the Koreans and similar Confucian cultural background. They can be assimilated without much problem. The richest man in Japan (the chairman of Softbank) is of Korean ancestry and his children have Japanese surname. Japan has ample time to do other thing like increasing the productivity level tremendously. At this stage it seems nothing work.

http://gt2030.com/2012/08/02/the-strategic-implications-of-japans-demographic-decline/

“””The male population eligible to join Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (aged 18 to 26) peaked at nine million in 1994. In just over fifteen years, this age group recorded an astounding 30 percent drop, plummeting to around six million. By 2030, eligible males will fall to less than five million. (Slowed but still dropping) By contrast, the United States will casino online post a 16 percent increase for the same cohort between 2010 and 2030. (Because of the immigrant groups. Locals are below replacement rate.)”””

It seems that the OCQ metric is pretty accurate.

79 Boonton November 17, 2017 at 9:10 am

If genomic similarity was the key, the easiest world problems to solve would be North Korea and South Korea, Israel and Palestine.

“In just over fifteen years, this age group recorded an astounding 30 percent drop, plummeting to around six million. By 2030, eligible males will fall to less than five million. ”

At the moment the US military is about 1.281M people. There’s maybe 3.2M farmers in the US, round that up to 4M if you include agricultural workers who work on farms but aren’t technically farmers.

Unlike ancient times where almost all players were roughly the same in terms of productivity, the modern world is decoupled from population by productivity. The US could run both it’s military and feed it plus almost all of the US population with just Japan’s declining male base if it had too. Of course, the US military is run on the premise that nuclear weapons will never be used in any ‘normal war’ or military operation. If that doctrine was relaxed it could probably be run with even fewer people.

80 Boonton November 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Needless to say, the military is not exactly efficient with manpower. I suspect if you optimized the current military you could do it with an even 1M people rather than 1.3M. On top of that future weapons seem to be manpower light. Actual warriors are the tip of the iceberg in today’s military. A fighter pilot needs an aircraft carrier to land on. A carrier needs thousands of people. A carrier is so important it needs dozens of ships to protect it. The group has so many people it needs even more to keep them well supplied.

Drones don’t require food, medical care, beds to sleep in etc. I suspect in 30 years the US military could be at the same strength or more with less than half the people…probably less. Population becomes even less important.

81 dearieme November 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Personally I recommend a war on sugar and a drugs tariffs. That makes me un-American, I suppose.

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82 M November 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Tyler, do you have anything interesting to say on the methodology of this paper and any value to add? Essentially, this is assuming that:

a) we can look at the effect of migration on natives by doing regression of natives status, wages, productivity, etc. against rates of change in migrant share

b) good conditions in a city only condition initial settlement in a city by the first wave of migrants; thereafter, they do not affect either i) rate of subsequent migration or ii) endogenously continue to have long term effects on economic destiny, e.g. the like of New York attracts the best and brightest of American natives, as well as international migration, while less skilled natives tend to disperse from there to second tier cities.

Since b) are frankly dubious assumptions in their naivety, author completes controls for them. So the meat is whether these controls are adequate. What’s your take on this?

In his words, his controls are Below, I perform a number of checks – including testing for pre-trends and interacting year dummies with pre-migration city characteristics – to assess the validity of the instrument. i.e. he tries to model growth characteristics for cities without migration related variables (how hard he actually tries to build models that kick his desideratum in the face I don’t know, but I assume he does so at least to the degree it’s not obviously foolish to MIT)

I also deal with the concern that aggregate migration áows (by ethnic group) may be endogenous to local economic conditions in US cities using two alternative strategies. First, I replace actual migration flows (from each sending region) with variation solely induced by World War I and the Immigration Acts. e.g. increases due to these factors will be uncorrelated with economic advantages, a bit of an assumption

Second, similarly to Sequeira et al. (2017), I construct a measure of predicted immigration determined uniquely by temperature and precipitation shocks in origin countries. e.g. ecological push factor, but err…. why use ecological push factor rather than economic push factor?

Perhaps I have been spoiled here by econ twitter, where even in such a short length, there’s little linking without anything substantive to actually say! You’re a smart fellow, so why not give us what you really think?

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83 jorod November 16, 2017 at 12:28 am

If you know anything about the history of the US, immigration has been an issue since at least 1798. Nobody cares about immigration until they lose their job. Or their kids get sick from illegals who aren’t vaccinated for diseases long thought extinguished. Bring back Ellis Island.

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