The Pro-Trade Effects of Immigration on American Exports During Period 1870 to 1910
Hutchinson, William K.
This paper examines the impact of a stock of immigrants in the United States on American exports to their home country during the period 1870 to 1910. Our data set spans the exports of 44 commodities to 17 countries observed at 5 year intervals. We use a modified gravity model to examine this immigrant stock-export relationship and find that United States exports were greater to a country due to the presence of immigrants from that country. The estimated strength of the effect is found to have varied across "Old" Europe, "New" Europe, and non-Europe groupings of the trading partner countries. Exports were also generally found to have been greater to other English-speaking countries, and to countries with per capita incomes similar to the United States. This relative per capita income effect became stronger during the latter part of the period, whereas the immigrant stock effect diminished after 1885.