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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 44 of Northwestern University economist Joseph Ferrie’s excellent 2011 paper “A Historical Perspective on High-Skilled Immigrants to the United States, 1820-1920,” which is Chapter 1 of High-Skilled Immigration in a Global Labor Market (Barry R. Chiswick, Ed., 2011):

If immigration policy had been formulated by a benevolent social planner in the middle of the nineteenth century when U.S. cities were inundated with large numbers of unskilled Irish immigrants, it might have seemed reasonable to favor the immigration instead of higher-skilled workers – after all, such craft and clerical workers were the backbone of U.S. manufacturing to that point. But such a policy could have delayed by decades the adoption of new techniques made economical by the arrival of unskilled Irish immigrants.

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