Migration

Raphaël Parchet, Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 15 October 2021

The development of the Swiss highway network from 1960 to 2010 influenced the residential and job compositions of municipalities. The advent of an entrance/exit ramp within 10 km of a municipality caused a long-term 24% increase in the share of top-income taxpayers. The welfare gains of residents of connected municipalities relative to residents in non-connected municipalities range from only 2% for the low-income group to 12% for the top-income group. Highways also contributed to job and residential urban sprawl.

Mark Taylor, 05 September 2021

The late 19th-century decline in British agricultural prices shrank the incomes of aristocrats and of land-owning ‘commoners’ as well. To carry on the tradition of raising money through auspicious marriages, British aristocrats looked across the Atlantic – to US heiresses with large dowries but no pedigrees, even by the standards of their own country. This column examines the social and economic forces that steered the daughters of US business magnates into marriages with British aristocrats. 

Laurent Bossavie, Daniel Garrote Sanchez, Mattia Makovec, Çağlar Özden, 01 September 2021

The COVID-19 shock exerted pressure on labour markets around the world. This column explores how the prevalence of immigration in the labour market affected different types of workers’ exposure to virus-related risks in 15 destination countries in Western Europe. It finds that not only were immigrant workers more vulnerable to the economic and health shocks of the pandemic; they also served as a protective shield for native workers. By undertaking higher-risk occupations, immigrants enabled native workers to move into work with fewer face-to-face interactions or jobs that could be carried out from the safety of home. 

Torje Hegna, Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 31 August 2021

Though R&D is a key driver of productivity growth, the effects of immigration on R&D investment remain poorly understood. This column investigates the impact that a large immigration shock – in this case, the sudden influx of migrants to Norway following the 2004 enlargement of the EU – had on R&D investments. The results suggest that immigration shocks can have a negative impact on a receiving country’s R&D investments, with potentially long-term consequences for productivity growth.

Alvaro Calderon, Vasiliki Fouka, Marco Tabellini, 20 July 2021

More than 4 million African Americans moved from the South to the North of the United States during the Second Great Migration between 1940 and 1970. This column argues that the Great Migration and support for civil rights are causally linked. It finds that Black in-migration increased demand for racial equality and encouraged pro-civil rights activism in non-Southern counties. These effects were not only driven by Black voters, but also by progressive segments of the white population, who became aware of the brutal conditions prevailing in the South. Mirroring the changes in the electorate, non-Southern Congress members became more likely to promote civil rights legislation, but also grew increasingly polarised along party lines on racial issues.

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