Do Chain Migrants Struggle in the New Country? A Name-Based Analysis of Irish Immigrant Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration

Dylan Connor, Arizona State University

During the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913), more than 4 million people moved from Ireland to the United States. For many emigrants, the journey to North America was economically and psychologically costly. Thus, migrants often relied on support from contacts abroad to finance the trip and ease the transition into US labor markets. Did these “chain migrants” experience slower assimilation after migration? We answer this question by applying new name-based methods to the 1940 Census of the United States. We exploit the fact that county of birth in Ireland can be inferred from many last names. We use this information to assess whether leaving a particularly high-migration or disadvantaged community in Ireland was associated with slower economic assimilation in the United States.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 185. Migration and Mobility in the 19th and 20th Centuries