20 Century

Created 1/24/1997
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Slouching Towards Utopia?: The Economic History of the Twentieth Century

 -VII. The Pre-World War I Economy-

 


J. Bradford DeLong
University of California at Berkeley and NBER


January 1997; DRAFT 1.00



Production and Technology:

In Great Britain alone was the economy primarily industrial at the turn of the twentieth century. In the United States, and elsewhere in Europe, farmers still made up the largest single occupational group. More than half the population still lived in the country, farming the land or providing the basic goods and services that farmers needed. In the American west, and in the other countries that Arthur Lewis named "regions of European settlement"--Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina--farming was not only the core of the economy but farmers were very rich, both compared to those dwelling in the cities and compared to those who had remained in Europe.

The eve of World War I saw agriculture account for only twelve percent of the British labor force; while manufacturing and construction accounted for 38%; and distribution and services for 32%. By contrast, the eve of World War I still saw more than one out of three Americans at work at work in agriculture, and one in thirty at work in mining. With the exception of Belgium, other European countries were much closer to the American than the British pattern in their distribution of the labor force.

In some ways the economy on the eve of World War I was amazingly far advanced. Britain burned 194 million tons of coal in 1913; in 1987 it would only burn 116 million tons-and the total coal-equivalent energy consumption of Britain in 1987 would by only some two-thirds greater than on the eve of World War I. The U.S. railroads carried passengers some 35 billion miles in 1913: that's 350 miles per person, which indicates a sizeable use of modern technology for travel even then. (But by 1987 U.S. airlines would carry passengers some 400 billion miles in a year.)

Relatively cheap ways of making the fundamental building material of the twentieth century--steel--emerged in the second half of the nineteenth, with the invention first of the Bessemer process and then of the Thomas-Gilchrist process. World steel production was some 70 million tons a year by 1913, and would grow to 170 million tons by 1950. Chemistry as we know it emerged from German universities and laboratories in the second half of the nineteenth century; by the eve of World War I Germany produced a full quarter of the world's chemical output; rayon became an established competitor to silk in the first decades of this century.

On the eve of World War I some 1.7 million passenger cars were registered, and some 100,000 goods-carrying vehicles were registered in the United States. But the United States was far ahead of other countries in its use of internal combustion engine vehicles: there were only some 132,000 passenger cars in Britain.

The years before World War I saw a vast increase in education, as at least elementary school became the rule for children in leading-edge economies. And years of education grew as well. In 1910 some 652,000 childen fifteen years and older were still in school in Britain; in the United States in 1910 some 355,000 were attending college-making up nearly five percent of their age cohort-in Germany in 1910 some 1,000,000 students were enrolled in post-elementary education.

With the possible exception of Great Britain, a lack of technically trained and educated workers does not seem to have been a major contraint on economic or industrial gorwth in the years before World War I. Much necessary technological knowledge could be (and can today still be) learned on the job. And the higher wages and salaries paid to trained engineers and craftsmen induced the boom in education.

The new technologies of the end of the nineteenth century were associated with the rise of the modern corporate enterprise. By the end of the 1880s, industrial enterprises found themselves in the middle of a web of ocean steamship, land railroad, and telegraph communication systems that greatly multiplied their ability to order materials and ship products. The vastly expanded potential of the delivery system led to a vast expansion in the size of the enterprise. The expanded firms were more capital intensive than their predecessors, and their continued profitability required that the expensive capital be used to the utmost: coordination of the flow of inputs from suppliers and of output through distributors as well as of product through the factory itself. Such coordination could not just happen: it required professional management. The modern managerial enterprise--the profession of management itself--was born with the twentieth century.


Living Standards:

In 1902 an anonymous college professor wrote a four-page article for the Atlantic Monthly called "What Should College Professors Be Paid?" in which he pleaded for more money, and claimed to be vastly underpaid. The first thing to note is his salary: he claimed that the "average college professor's salary is about $2,000." $2,000 was four times the average of GDP per worker at the turn of the century. In order to match turn-of-the-century professors in terms of income relative to the national average, a professor today would have to make an academic salary of $220,000--a height rarely attained even by Nobel prize winners, and far above any average.

The second thing to note is that the anonymous professor sees himself as a reasonable man--he is not asking for what he would see as the "large salar[y], commensurate with what equal ability would bring in other lines of work ($10,000 to $50,000)"--or 20 to 100 times average GDP per worker. Today, 20 to 100 times average GDP per worker would be between $1,100,000 and $5,500,000 a year. The top 7,000 households in the United States today have incomes that average $500,000 a year. That an ordinary professor could feel that his talents could earn such an enormous multiple of the average income is a sign of how unequal an economy and society the turn of the twentieth century U.S. was.

Yet as this professor goes through his budget, readers nod that his family is indeed strapped for cash. The first large expense is for personal services: "We must pay $25 a month for even a passable servant," and add to that $10 a month for laundry, for the "servants will do no laundry work," $1 a month for haircuts, and $2 a month for a gardener adds up. Note that we are already, on personal servies alone, up to $445 a year--roughly average level of GDP per worker in 1900. But the professor has little choice but to make such large expenditures on personal services if his household is to make a properly upper-middle-class impression by keeping his lawn trimmed, his house dusted, his clothes clean, and his children washed. He has no gasoline-powered lawnmower, no electric hedge clippers, no vacuum cleaner, no dishwasher, and neither a washing machine nor a dryer. Consumer durables take the place now of what took servants' sweat (at least for college professors' households) a century ago.

Food bills average $55 a month on food--enough to buy 170 lbs. of veal cutlets (present market value perhaps $800), or 500 pounds of chuck roast (present value perhaps $1000), or 1000 lbs. of bread (present value perhaps $1100). Note that $55 a month works out to be $660 a year, considerably more than a year's average GDP per worker on food alone. It was hard to economize on food at the start of this century: food and fuel consume almost half of consumer expenditure for the average household in 1885, but only a fifth of consumer expenditure in 1987.

Working class families at the turn of the century lived much more differently from Prof. G.H.M. than working class families do from his successors today.

A large proportion of households then had (largely male, unrelated) boarders sleeping and eating in the house: this provided a way for the household labor of the housewife to bring income directly into the household. It also made her life more difficult, and multiplied the amount of work she had to do. Few households had running water or a hot water heater. Water came in buckets from a faucet in the street into the house, and then heat it on the stove. In the--relatively prosperous for its time--factory steel town of Homestead, Pennsylvania at the start of the twentieth century, only one in six working class households had indoor bathrooms in 1910. Half of "Slav" and "Negro" families lived in one or two room houses. Most white families lived in four room houses.

American Housing 1900-1990. Share of Households with:

1900 1990
Boarders and lodgers 0.25 0.02
Over 1 person per room 0.49 0.06
Over 3.5 persons per sleeping room 0.23 0.06
Running water 0.24 0.99
Flush toilets 0.13 0.97
Central heat 0 0.84
Gas or electric light 0.12 1
Refrigerator 0.18 0.99
Washing machine 0.05 0.7
Vacuum cleaner 0 0.92
Radio 0 0.96
Television 0 0.99
Telephone 0.05 0.91

But even if you have a four room house, can you afford to heat more than one room of it?

The diets of workers in Homestead at the turn of the century were composed primarily of meat of widely variable quality, bread, butter, potatoes, oatmeal, and tea and milk-with luxuries such as sweets added in more or less regularly. We would find the diet monotonous, although a lot of time and effort went into finding different ways to make potatoes. Almost the first luxury that would be purchased was the services of a laundress. Since laundry was expensive and difficult, few working-class families could maintain upper-middle-class standards of cleanliness. How often would you take baths if the water had to brought in from an outside pump, and then heated on the stove? How often would you wash your clothes if everything had to be washed out in the sink, and if the fabrics were three times as heavy and the detergents one-third as powerful as the ones available today?

As a rule married women did not work outside the home--unless they were African-American, in which case theymight well do their own family's housework and be paid for doing a share of some white family's housework as well. Meal preparation was not a one hour a day but a four hour a day task. Laundry was not a two hour a week but a ten hour a week task. Barring a shift toward larger-scale communal or cooperative living--a shift which simply did not happen, even though anticipated by many feminists--within-the-household production and maintenance soaked up one-third the potential adult work hours, and made it next to impossible for married women (unless they were quite rich, or quite poor) to have independent careers and fulfill social expectations.

Those who could afford the resources to maintain bourgeois styles of cleanliness flaunted it. White shirts, white dresses, white gloves are all powerful indications of wealth in turn of the century America. They said "I don't have to do my own laundry" relatively loudly.

Infant mortality at the turn of the century was high. One in five babies died before reaching his or her first birthday. Adult men died, too, like flies (and adult women faced substantial risks in childbirth). Accident rates in the factory were such as to leave 260 injured per year--30 dead--out of a total population of 25,000 and a steel mill working population of 5,000. Each year, five percent were injured enough to miss work for some time (although only one percent per year are permanently disabled), and 1/2 percent per year are killed in factory accidents.

You can do the arithmetic: start to work for U.S. Steel when you are 20. There is one chance in seven that the factory will kill you before you reach 50, and almost one chance in three that the factory will disable you. Is it any wonder that life insurance--disability insurance--group lodges that provide benefits (because the company provides few)--loom so large in American working class consciousness at the turn of the century? And is it any wonder that the first component of the welfare state put into place, in many parts of the United States, was workman's compensation?

Of course, in 1910 Homestead (or in 1930 Detroit, or in Los Angeles today) the most arduous and difficult jobs were done by minorities: in 1910 Homestead by Slavs, in 1930 Detroit by Blacks, and in 1990 Los Angeles by Hispanics. At the micro level, such groups are concentrated in the most arduous and lowest-paid jobs because they are poor, because they have limited other options.

Most of the Homestead workforce only worked six days a week: for four out of five workers, the mill was shut on Sundays. U.S. Steel viewed this--shutting most of the mill on Sundays--as a major concession on their part, and one that they hoped would produce large public relations benefits. From U.S. Steel's perspective, each hour that a modern plant like Homestead stood idle was tremendously expensive. Variable costs-wages, raw materials, and transportation-made up perhaps 2/3 of total costs. The remainder were fixed: capital costs on the construction of the plant, and maintenance that had to be performed whether the plant was operating intensively or not.

Were U.S. Steel to move from two 12-hour shifts a day to one 12-hour shift, its output would be halved but its costs would be reduced by only 1/3-so total costs per ton of steel made would rise by 1/3. This was not a margin that U.S. Steel could afford. As long as it could find workers willing to work the night shift, the Homestead mill (depressions and recessions apart) stayed open 24 hours a day on weekdays. And when things did change, they changed all at once-from two 12-hour shifts before and during World War I, to two 8-hour shifts (or three 8-hour shifts) during the 1920's, and during and after World War II.

Yet Homestead jobs--at least Homestead jobs taken by native-born Americans--were good jobs by the standards of the United States. As historian Ray Ginger puts it:

their expectations were not ours. A man who grew up on a Southern farm did not think it cruel that his sons had to work as bobbin boys [collecting spun thread in a textile mill]. An immigrant living in a tenement and working in a sweatshop yet knew that for the first time in his life he was wearing shoes seven days a week."

And Homestead jobs paid well. White households could make around $900 (of 1910 value) a year, placing them well the upper third of the U.S. population in terms of income per household in 1910. Relative to what could be earned by people of similar skill levels anywhere else in the world, a job in the Homestead mill was a very attractive job. Even the unequal America at the turn of the century was a very attractive place compared to the rest of the world. America was exceptional. In spite of the hours, in spite of the risk of death or injury, in spite of the working conditions, these were very good jobs by international standards: jobs worth moving 7,000 miles for, from Hungary or Lithuania to suburban Pittsburgh. The economy of the late nineteeth century was an international economy, filled with long-distance trade and migration.


International Trade:

Even before the U.S. Civil War of 1861-5, the export of cotton from the American south and of sugar from the Caribbean islands had shown how European agriculture could be replaced and augmented. After the Civil War the coming of the steam engine and the iron hull to ocean transport made possible the export to Europe not merely of cotton and sugar--crops which could not be grown in the climate of the European industrial core--but also grain, meat, and wool.

What Arthur Lewis calls the "regions of European settlement"--the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and perhaps South Africa--soon demonstrated that they could produce and ship staple grains, meats, and wool at vastly cheaper prices than could Europe itself. The steam-driven iron-hulled ship and the steam-driven iron-riding locomotive quickly brought down transport costs. From the 1870s German farmers found themselves with new competitors: not just new world producers, but Russian grain shipped from Odessa. In 1870 wheat cost nearly fifty percent more in Liverpool than in Chicago, meat cost more than ninety percent more in London than in Cincinnati, and iron cost seventy-five percent more in Philadelphia than in London. By 1913 all these prices were within twenty percent of one another. By 1900 the harvest west of Chicago affected grain prices in Odessa and Hamburg; the price of lambs in Auckland affected meat prices in London; the agricultural sector was the first to become globalized--and in becoming globalized, to demonstrate that farmers could feed more people better than had ever been possible before.

ANGLO-AMERICAN COMMODITY PRICE CONVERGENCE

Price Gap by Year

Commodity Markets 1870 1895 1913
Wheat Liverpool/Chicago 0.576 0.178 0.156
Meat London/Cincinnati 0.925 0.923 0.179
Textiles Boston/Manchester 0.137 0.037 -0.036
Iron Philadelphia/London 0.75 0.434 0.206
Cotton Liverpool/New York 0.133 0.112 0.097
Copper Philadelphia/London 0.327 0.136 -0.001
Wool Boston/London 0.591 0.659 0.279
Tin New York/London 0.159 0.053 -0.023

Improvements in food processing and preservation meant that mutton from Argentina and Australia, beef from the American west, grain, and hides for leather could be produced on the praries or the pampas and consumed in the growing economies of Europe. A sharp division of international labor began to emerge: "temperate" settler colonies, like the western United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina, produced and supplied grain, meat, leather, wool, and other high-value agricultural products to Europe and to the eastern, urban, industrialized United States; "tropical" regions, like Malaysia, Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, or Ghana (and to some degree the U.S. south), supplied rubber, coffee, sugar, vegetable oil, cotton, and other relatively low-value agricultural products to Europe; Europe paid for its imports by exporting manufactured goods--some 75% of Britain's exports were manufactured goods in the years before World War I, and textile exports made up half of Britain's manufacturing exports.

By contrast, some 40% of United States exports in 1900 were food, feeds, and beverages; and a futher 35% were industrial supplies and materials. Industrial supplies and materials would rise to be fully half of exports by 1910.

Falling transport costs led to an integrated world economy. By 1910 exports of goods and services amounted to more than a quarter of British, and Australian, and Canadian, national product; and to perhaps a fifth of German and Italian national product. Even the enormous and largely closed economy of the United States managed to import and export roughly five percent of national product in the years before World War I.

The social returns to the investments in technology and infrastructure that created this late nineteenth-century world economy were enormous. Robert Fogel calculated that the social rate of return on the Union Pacific Railroad's trans-North American tracks and vehicles was some thirty percent per year.

The development of the integrated world economy brought new industries and new agricultural specialties to all the corners of the world. As William Ashworth points out, the rubber tree was not introduced into Malaysia, Indonesia, and Indochina until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. But by the end of World War I these three regions had become the principal sources of the world's natural rubber supply. Tea was introduced to India and Ceylon through a similar process. And the world was covered with railroads: some 12,000 miles of railroads in Africa, 38,000 miles in Asia, and 26,000 miles in South America by 1900; some 40,000 miles of railroads in Africa, 80,000 miles in Asia, and 60,000 miles in South America by 1930.

It is understandable that China, India, and the other regions of what would become the post-World War II "third world" did not produce and export the relatively high-value commodities like wheat and wool exported by temperate settler economies: agricultural productivity was too low, and climate was unfavorable. It is understandable why--with heavy downward pressure put on wages in Malaysia, Kenya, and Colombia by migration and threatened migration from China and India--the prices of the export commodities that they did produce were and remained relatively low.

What is more puzzling is why industrialization did not spread much more rapidly to the future "third world" in the years before World War I.

After all, the example of the industrial core seemed easy to follow. Inventing the technologies of the original industrial revolution--steam power, spinning mills, automatic looms, iron- and steel-making, and railroad-building--had required many independent strokes of genius. But copying the technologies did not, especially when you could buy and cheaply ship industrial capital goods made in the same New and Old England machine shops that supplied the industries of England and of America.

As industries in the industrial core became more and more mechanized--more and more characterized by "mass production"--they should have become more and more vulnerable to foreign competition from other, lower wage countries.Throughout the twentieth century, the U.S. had the highest wage level in the world; inside the U.S., firms devoted immense time, energy, and thought to redesigning their production processes so that lower-skilled, and lower paid, workers could replace highly-skilled craftsmen. One would think that manufacturing would have fled the United States. If Ford can redesign production so that unskilled assembly line workers do what skilled craftsmen used to do, why can't Ford also--or someone else--redesign production so that it can be carried out by low wage Peruvians or Poles or Kenyans rather than by Americans, who are extraordinarily expensive labor by world standards?

Industries do migrate, but they have done so surprisingly slowly in the twentieth cnetury. One reason is added risk: political risk of all kinds tends to make investors wary of committing their money in places where it is easy to imagine political disruptions from the left or the right. Moreover, there are substantial advantages for a firm in keeping production in the industrial core, near to other machines and near other factories making similar products. It is much easier to keep the machines running. A reliable electric power grid is much more likely to be found in the industrial core. And so are the services of specialists needed to fix the many things that can go wrong: minimum efficient scale for an industrial civilization can be far larger than the apparent minimum efficient scale for a plant.

Arthur Lewis hypothesized that barriers to starting up an export-oriented industry were large, that infant industries on the periphery of the world economy had to rely on domestic demand, and that where domestic demand was low because of mass poverty modern industry could not flourish. Thus only a small share of output in what was to become the third world came from the industries of the industrial revolution.

But we still understand far too little about why the pace of technological diffusion out of the industrial core was so slow back before World War I: why "peripheral" economies did such a good job at specializing in plantation agriculture for export, and such a bad job at creating modern manufacturing industries.

Gregory Clark at the University of California at Davis has counted the staffing levels--how many operatives for each machine--at textile firms worldwide early in the twentieth cenury, and found enormous differences in how many workers watch, operate, and maintain the same machine across countries and continents. It is not that places where labor is abundant use the same machines more efficiently: it is that it appears to take many times the workforce to achieve the same level of machine performance. Workforces in the industrial core appear to have an acquaintance with machines and how they work, which was very, very hard to duplicate in the periphery.

The World Textile Industry, 1910: Weekly Wages and Staffing Levels

Country or Region

Weekly Wage (Dollars)

Looms per Worker

Ring Spindles per Worker

New England 8.8 2.97 902
Canada 8.8 2.53 750
U.S. South 6.5 2.65 770
Britain 5 2.04 625
Germany 3.8 1.28 327
France 3.7 1.11 500
Switzerland 3.7 1.4 450
Austria 2.8 1.24 403
Spain 2.7 0.91 450
Mexico 2.6 1.15 540
Russia 2.4 1.1 450
Italy 2.4 0.88 436
Portugal 1.72 0.88 384
Egypt 1.69 0.81 240
Greece 1.38 0.46
Japan 0.8 0.53 190
India 0.78 0.5 214
China 0.54 0.48 168
Peru 1.17 391
Brazil 0.88 527

 


International Migration:

The fall in the price of carrying goods across oceans carried with it a fall in the cost of carrying people across oceans as well. And people did move. International migration has played a significant role in raising and beginning to equalize material wealth over the past century. Those presently living in Ireland are, compared to Great Britain and the United States, relatively poor. But the descendants of those who lived in Ireland at the start of the nineteenth century are, today, one of the richest groups in the world: less than half of the descendants of the Irish of 1800 live in Ireland today; instead, they are spread throughout America, Britain, and Australia, and they have prospered.

The half century before 1925 saw perhaps one hundred million people moved from one continent to another in search of a better life. About fifty million left Europe, largely eastern and southern Europe, for Australia, and the Americas. Perhaps fifty million (although we are not really sure) left China, India, and other Asian countries for destinations in the Americas, in lands surrounding the South China Sea, and in east Africa. Peru in the late twentieth century could have a President surnamed Fujimori. The author V.S. Naipaul was born not in India but in the Caribbean. The redwood forests of northern California contain shrines to the boddhisatva Guan-Yin.

Tension between descendants of peoples whose ancestors had resided in the areas for somewhat longer (after all, ultimately all humans are "indigenous" to Africa and to Africa alone) and descendants of migrants from China and India has dominated the politics of many countries in the twentieth century. And since World War I migration has been tightly restricted by national governments, and population flows have been much smaller as proportions of the total world population.

But the roughly one hundred million migrants of 1870-1925 made up one-tenth of the world's population in 1870. Because the migration stream contained relatively few children and few old people, the 1870-1925 intercontinental migration stream amounted to perhaps one one out of every seven people of working age.

Even before 1925, there were substantial restrictions on the migration of Asians to areas that Europeans considered "their" province of settlement. One of the most popular causes in late nineteenth century America was the restriction of immigration from China and Japan. Railroad barons wished to continue the expansion of the Asian-born population in America. Workers and populists wanted the Chinese, Japanese, and (Asian) Indians kept out of California and on the other side of the Pacific. The plutocrats like Leland Stanford (the railroad baron and governor of California who founded and endowed Stanford University in memory of his son) favored immigration; the populists favored exclusion--and "Chinaman go home."

By and large, the populists won. Asian immigrants were largely kept out of what Arthur Lewis calls the "temperate countries of European settlement-the United States, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Australia, and New Zealand. The flow of migrants out of China and India was directed elsewhere, to the tea plantations of Ceylon or the rubber plantations of Malaysia. Arthur Lewis believes that this redirection of the migration stream had enormous consequences for the distribution of income in the twentieth century world. Europe had escaped the Malthusian trap of low living standards and populations high relative to agricultural resources and technology at perhaps the end of the eighteenth century. The availability of resource-rich settlement areas like Canada and Argentina with Europe-like climates provided a further boost to European living standards: industrializing European countries at the turn of the twentieth century found their land/labor and capital/labor ratios, and thus their productivity levels and living standards, rising as migrants left for America.

India and China, through ill-luck and bad government, had not escaped the Malthusian regime. Technology had advanced: the population of China in the late nineteenth century was some thee times what it had been at the start of the second millennium, and living standards were no (or not much) lower. But improvements in productive potential had been absorbed in rising populations, and not in rising living standards.

So potential migrants from China and India were willing to move for what seemed to Europeans to be starvation wages.

Thus the large populations and low levels of material wealth and agricultural productivity in China and India put downward pressure on wages in any of the areas-Malaysia, Indonesia, the Caribbean, or east Africa-open to the Asian migration stream. Workers could be cheaply imported and employed at wages little above the physical subsistence level. These workers would be very happy with their jobs: their opportunities and living standards in Malaysian or African plantations would be far above what they could expect if they returned to India or China.

Low wage costs meant that commodities produced in countries open to Asian immigration were cheap. And competition from the Malaysian rubber plantations pushed down wages in the Brazilian rubber plantations as well. The late nineteenth century saw living standards and wage rates become and remain low--although higher than in China and India--throughout the regions that were to come to be called the "third world."

Conversely, the restriction of migration to temperate latitudes to European natives meant that the prices of temperate agricultural commodities--like wheat, beef, and wool--would be relatively high because wages had to be high enough to lure Europeans, with agricultural productivity levels three or four times those of China or India, off the farm and across the ocean. Save for cotton (grown by African-American sharecroppers living at standards closer to physical subsistence than the rest of America cared to know about or cares to remember), temperate economies simply did not produce any of the commodities that could be produced in regions open to Asian migration: they could not compete. Instead, the temperate settler economies concentrated on the resource- and technology-intensive agricultural and mineral products that coul dnot be produced closer to the equator.

The politically-set pattern of migration ensured that one set of countries would be rich, and another set poor as of the beginning of World War I. Since 1900 destinies have diverged: the countries in the southern half of South America are today "Third World" nations, while they were "First World" nations in 1900. Japan, in 1900 a Third World nation, is now one of the leading industrial powers.

It is impossible to determine what the world would be like if there had not been substantial restrictions on poor people--Asians--moving to rich countries--Europe and its overeas settler colonies--throughout the twentieth century. California would certainly be very, very different if migration from Asia had been allowed to continue up until the general restrictions on all immigration were imposed in the mid-1920s.

It might have been easier for poor people to move to rich economies than it has proven to be to transfer the political institutions and economic technologies from rich to poor economies in the twentieth century. If so, the world would today be a more equal and a richer place if not for the "white Australia" and analogous "no Chinaman" policies of the pre-World War I era, and for the tight restrictions on all kinds of immigration imposed from the 1920's on. Alternatively, the institutions of political democracy and the capitalist economy in the rich settler countries might have collapsed under the strain of coping with more massive immigration flows, and the resulting increased degree of internal inequality--or so has always been the argument of those favoring immigration restrictions.


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20 Century

Created 1/24/1997
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Associate Professor of Economics Brad DeLong, 601 Evans
University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax
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