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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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  • Abramitzky, Ran & Boustan, Leah Platt & Eriksson, Katherine, 2013. "Have the poor always been less likely to migrate? Evidence from inheritance practices during the age of mass migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 2-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:102:y:2013:i:c:p:2-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.08.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Dustmann, Christian & Okatenko, Anna, 2014. "Out-migration, wealth constraints, and the quality of local amenities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 52-63.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    3. Guriev, Sergei & Vakulenko, Elena, 2015. "Breaking out of poverty traps: Internal migration and interregional convergence in Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 633-649.
    4. Michael A. Clemens, 2014. "Does development reduce migration?," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 6, pages 152-185 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Augustin de Coulon & Dragos Radu & Max Friedrich Steinhardt, 2016. "Pane e Cioccolata: The Impact of Native Attitudes on Return Migration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 253-281, May.
    6. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee & Hugo Reis, 2015. "Please call me John: name choice and the assimilation of immigrants in the United States, 1900-1930," CeMMAP working papers CWP28/15, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. David SAHN & Catalina HERRERA, 2013. "Determinants of Internal Migration among Senegalese Youth," Working Papers 201308, CERDI.
    8. Böhme, Marcus H. & Glaser, Toni, 2014. "Migration experience, aspirations and the brain drain theory and empirical evidence," Kiel Working Papers 1956, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Collins, William J. & Wanamaker, Marianne H., 2015. "The Great Migration in Black and White: New Evidence on the Selection and Sorting of Southern Migrants," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(04), pages 947-992, December.
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    11. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1311-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Guillaume Daudin & Raphaël Franck & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "The cultural diffusion of the fertility transition: evidence from internal migration in 19 th century France," Working Papers halshs-01321952, HAL.
    13. Martha Bailey & Connor Cole & Morgan Henderson & Catherine Massey, 2017. "How Well Do Automated Methods Perform in Historical Samples? Evidence from New Ground Truth," NBER Working Papers 24019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Johan Fourie & Dieter Fintel, 2014. "Settler skills and colonial development: the Huguenot wine-makers in eighteenth-century Dutch South Africa," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(4), pages 932-963, November.
    15. Guillaume Daudin & Raphaël Franck & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "The cultural diffusion of the fertility transition: evidence from internal migration in 19 th century France," PSE - G-MOND WORKING PAPERS halshs-01321952, HAL.
    16. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2016. "To the New World and Back Again: Return Migrants in the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 22659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    18. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    19. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
    20. Michael Clemens, 2014. "Does Development Reduce Migration? - Working Paper 359," Working Papers 359, Center for Global Development.
    21. Maria Waldinger, 2015. "The effects of climate change on internal and international migration: implications for developing countries," GRI Working Papers 192, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    22. Lifshits, Marina, 2016. "Forecasting of the global migration situation based on the analysis of net migration in the countries," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 41, pages 96-122.
    23. Samuel Bazzi, 2017. "Wealth Heterogeneity and the Income Elasticity of Migration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 219-255, April.
    24. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-01321952 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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