The (South) American Dream: Mobility and Economic Outcomes of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in Nineteenth-Century Argentina

Santiago Pérez
Published in
The Journal of Economic History

Santiago Pérez study's the mobility and economic outcomes of European immigrants and their children in nineteenth-century Argentina, the second largest destination country during the Age of Mass Migration. He uses new data linking males across censuses and passenger lists of arrivals to Buenos Aires. First-generation immigrants experienced faster occupational upgrading than natives. Occupational mobility was substantial relative to Europe; immigrants holding unskilled occupations upon arrival experienced high rates of occupational upgrading. Second-generation immigrants outperformed the sons of natives in terms of literacy, occupational status and access to property, and experienced higher rates of intergenerational mobility out of unskilled occupations.