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date: 18 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Immigration has been a powerful force is the US economy right from the period of initial settlement in the early seventeenth century. It has been instrumental in building the nation’s infrastructure, transforming its manufacturing sector, and growing its labor force, as it transferred human capital from where it was initially generated (abroad) to where it was productively employed (the United States). This chapter surveys the impact on the economy, on the immigrants themselves, and on the Americans they joined in four eras: (1) settlement (1600s–1700s); (2) the first “Great Wave” (1800–1890); (3) the second “Great Wave” (1890–1920s); and (4) the post-1965 period.

Keywords: immigration, economy, infrastructure, manufacturing, human capital, “Great Wave”

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