History events at the IHR

Low Quality Immigrants to Latin America? Human and Social Capital in Historical Migration

11 March 2014, 17:30 - 19:30

Event Type: Seminar


Blanca Sánchez-Alonso (Universidad CEU-San Pablo (Madrid))



Economic historians stress the fact that Latin America received poorer, more illiterate and potentially less productive immigrants than the United States simply because the dominant flow over the years 1880-1914 came from the economically backward areas of Southern and Eastern Europe. However, these migrants arrived also to the United States. If national origins of emigrants from southern and eastern Europe were roughly the same for immigrants going to the Americas since the 1880s, why then immigrants to Latin America are often represented as poor and backwards?  This paper draws together, in the form of an analytical survey, a number of different aspects of human capital of European migrants to Latin America since the late nineteenth century to 1930. Its main objective is to rethink the role of European migration to Latin America and to clarify some over-simplifications of the Latin experience during the age of mass migration.

Immigrants’ relative economic qualities will be explored by analysing occupation, literacy rates and their potential contribution to economic development in Latin America. The relevant cases for analysis will be Argentina, Brazil and Cuba.

Venue: The Court Room (Senate House, first floor)

Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU 

Download a map of the central precinct with directions for getting to the University of London Senate House.

Related Events: History Latin American History