Peter Catron

My research focuses on the socioeconomic mobility and assimilation of immigrants throughout history.  I am generally interested in how processes of mobility and labor market outcomes of immigrants are interlinked with societal institutions and economic structures that may condition individual efforts to make it in America.  Currently, I am taking advantage of the advent of digitized historical data of US censuses, passenger records, and company personnel files to explore mobility trends of immigrants who entered the US between 1880 and 1924.  These data sets allow me to recreate the immigrant experience over the life course, following individuals from the passenger list to an initial census and then tracking them and their families through subsequent censuses over time.  By having longitudinal data of individuals, the first of their kind in sociology, I am able to identify the specific mechanisms that helped or hindered economic mobility in the first half of the twentieth century both within and across generations. Please see my research for more details.