Immigration and Native Children's Long-Term Outcomes

Yi-Ju Hung, University of Southern California

Does exposure to immigrants affect native children’s economic opportunities? Leveraging the linked U.S. censuses in the early 20th century, I study immigration’s cross-generation effect on the native-born. I examine the causal impact of childhood exposure to immigrants on natives’ adulthood occupation ranks using the shift-share instrument for county-level immigration exposure. I show that childhood exposure to immigrants increases natives’ occupation ranks in adulthood, and children of high- skilled fathers enjoy more benefits than their peers. The results suggest that immigra- tion intensifies cross-generation skill persistence. The positive childhood exposure ef- fect is robust after controlling adulthood locations. In addition, immigration-induced relocation explains around 10% of the childhood exposure effect. Finally, childhood exposure to immigrants encourages native children to pursue less immigrant-intensive jobs and seek skill upgrading.

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 Presented in Session 182. Social Mobilities