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Events of Department of Economics

November 18, 2020 at 16:30 - 17:45


Development Labor Political Economy - Joint with Collegio Carlo Alberto and Centro Studi Luca D'Agliano

Streets of Gold: Immigration and the American Dream Over Two Centuries

Leah Platt Boustan (Princeton University) Abstract

Abstract: This talk is based on an upcoming book entitled Streets of Gold: Immigration and the American Dream Over Two Centuries. The public has a nostalgic view about immigration to the US a century ago during the Age of Mass Migration from Europe. We argue that the vision of the “American Dream,” in which immigrants arrive penniless but quickly join the middle class, is overstated both in the past and today. Instead, immigrants themselves, in both eras, climb a few rungs on the economic ladder and engage in some cultural assimilation. The children of immigrants experience a striking catch up to the children of the US-born both in the past and present, and from nearly every sending country.

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