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Capital Constraints and European Migration to Canada: Evidence from the 1920s Passenger Lists

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Author Info

  • Alexander Armstrong

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Frank Lewis

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

The difficulty or inability to borrow made capital market constraints an important part of the decision of potential emigrants to move from Europe to North America. We formalize the constraint with a life-cycle model, where agents jointly choose the optimal period of saving to finance migration and whether to migrate. Simulations of the model point to the potential role of preferences, the period of adjustment after arrival, and the direct migration costs in determining who will migrate and at what age; and they help account for the large wage gaps between the Old and New World. Our analysis of data from the passenger manifests of Dutch arrivals at Canadian ports from 1925 to 1927, that importantly include the saving of these immigrants, points to the promise of this approach to international migration.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1230.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1230.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1230

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Keywords: immigration; canada;

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References

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  1. Grubb, Farley, 1986. "Redemptioner Immigration to Pennsylvania: Evidence on Contract Choice and Profitability," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 407-418, June.
  2. Grubb, Farley, 1985. "The incidence of servitude in trans-Atlantic migration, 1771-1804," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 316-339, July.
  3. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Global labour markets, return, and onward migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1285-1311, November.
  4. Green, Alan & MacKinnon, Mary, 2001. "The Slow Assimilation of British Immigrants in Canada: Evidence from Montreal and Toronto, 1901," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 315-338, July.
  5. Daniela del Boca & Alessandra Venturini, 2001. "Italian Migration," CHILD Working Papers wp26_01, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  7. Michael G. Abbott & Charles M. Beach, 1993. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials and Birth-Year Effects for Men in Canada: Post-war-1972," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 505-24, August.
  8. Grubb, Farley, 1994. "The End of European Immigrant Servitude in the United States: An Economic Analysis of Market Collapse, 1772–1835," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 794-824, December.
  9. Greenwood, Michael J., 2007. "Modeling the age and age composition of late 19th century U.S. immigrants from Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 255-269, April.
  10. Frank D. Lewis, 2001. "Farm settlement with imperfect capital markets: a life-cycle application to Upper Canada, 1826-1851," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 174-195, February.
  11. Green Alan G. & Green David A., 1993. "Balanced Growth and the Geographical Distribution of European Immigrant Arrivals to Canada, 1900-1912," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 31-59, January.
  12. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2010. "Europe's tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration," NBER Working Papers 15684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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