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Date: Wednesday 21st October at 5.00 p.m.

All welcome, but booking is essential as numbers will be limited for the Zoom webinar

There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions

This talk is based on an upcoming book entitled Streets of Gold: Immigration and the American Dream Over Two Centuries. The public has a nostalgic view about immigration to the US a century ago during the Age of Mass Migration from Europe. We argue that the vision of the “American Dream,” in which immigrants arrive penniless but quickly join the middle class, is overstated both in the past and today. Instead, immigrants themselves, in both eras, climb a few rungs on the economic ladder and engage in some cultural assimilation. The children of immigrants experience a striking catch up to the children of the US-born both in the past and present, and from nearly every sending country.


Leah Boustan is a Professor of Economics at Princeton University, where she is also a faculty associate of the Industrial Relations Section. Her research lies at the intersection between economic history and labor economics. Her book, Competition in the Promised Land: Black Migrants in Northern Cities and Labor Markets (Princeton University Press, 2016) examines the effect of the Great Black Migration from the rural south during and after World War II. Her recent work has been on the mass migration from Europe to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

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