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Emigration and poverty in prefamine Ireland


  • Mokyr, Joel
  • Grada, Cormac O


Emigration was a crucial element in Irish population change during the half century before the Great Famine. The size and composition of the outward flow worried some, and caused considerable debate. Majority opinion held that emigration was likely to benefit economically both those who left and those who stayed behind. This paper uses an untapped source - ship passenger lists - to determine some relevant emigrant characteristics, and uses it to check for likely losses to the stay-at-homes from the 'quality' and age structure of the flow.
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  • Mokyr, Joel & Grada, Cormac O, 1982. "Emigration and poverty in prefamine Ireland," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 360-384, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:19:y:1982:i:4:p:360-384

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    2. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1978. "An Exchange: The Theory of Human Capital and the Earnings of Women: Women's Earnings Reexamined," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 13(1), pages 118-134.
    3. Steven H. Sandell & David Shapiro, 1978. "An Exchange: The Theory of Human Capital and the Earnings of Women: A Reexamination of the Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 13(1), pages 103-117.
    4. Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gr da, Cormac & O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Migration as disaster relief: Lessons from the Great Irish Famine," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 3-25, April.
    2. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2005. "The New York Irish in the 1850s : locked in by poverty?," Open Access publications 10197/489, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2003. "The Era of Free Migration: Lessons for Today," Trinity Economics Papers 200315, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    4. Blum, Matthias & Colvin, Christopher L. & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2017. "Scarring and selection in the Great Irish Famine," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2017-08, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    5. Nicholas, S. & Steckel, R., 1992. "Tall But Poor : Nutrition, Health and Living Standards in Pre-Famine Ireland," Papers 92-19, New South Wales - School of Economics.
    6. Ferrie, Joseph P., 1997. "The Entry into the U.S. Labor Market of Antebellum European Immigrants, 1840-1860," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 295-330, July.
    7. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan, 2016. "Immigration in American Economic History," NBER Working Papers 21882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Thomas Jordan, 1999. "John O'Neill, Irish Bootmaker: A Biographical Approach to Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 297-317, November.
    9. Paul Johnson & Stephen Nicholas, 1997. "Health and Welfare of Women in the United Kingdom, 1785-1920," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 201-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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