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Have the poor always been less likely to migrate? Evidence from inheritance practices during the age of mass migration

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  • Abramitzky, Ran
  • Boustan, Leah Platt
  • Eriksson, Katherine

Abstract

Using novel data on 50,000 Norwegian men, we study the effect of wealth on the probability of internal or international migration during the Age of Mass Migration (1850–1913), a time when the US maintained an open border to European immigrants. We do so by exploiting variation in parental wealth and in expected inheritance by birth order, gender composition of siblings, and region. We find that wealth discouraged migration in this era, suggesting that the poor could be more likely to move if migration restrictions were lifted today. We discuss the implications of these historical findings to developing countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 102 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 2-14

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:102:y:2013:i:c:p:2-14

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Migration; Selection; Wealth; Childhood environment; 19th century;

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Dustmann & Anna Okatenko, 2013. "Out-migration, Wealth Constraints, and the Quality of Local Amenities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1313, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. de Coulon, Augustin & Radu, Dragos & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2013. "Pane e Cioccolata: The impact of native attitudes on return migration," HWWI Research Papers 146, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  3. David SAHN & Catalina HERRERA, 2013. "Determinants of Internal Migration among Senegalese Youth," Working Papers 201308, CERDI.

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