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Family and sex-specific U.S. immigration from Europe, 1870-1910: A panel data study of rates and composition

  • Greenwood, Michael J.
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    This paper develops and estimates models of family and sex-specific emigration, as well as the sex composition of this emigration, from 12 European source countries to the U.S. for the period 1870-1910. The models are based on the distinction between economic migrants (males, single females, and some married females) and tied or trailing migrants (females) and are estimated with panel data, including data that relate to the occupational/industrial structure of male and female economic activity in source countries. Hausman-Taylor instrumental variable estimates suggest that although both males and females responded to labor-market signals, males were more responsive than females to per capita GDP differences. Moreover, compared to the rest of Europe, Ireland, and Scandinavia were the sources of many young, single male, and female migrants, who responded strongly to gaps in economic opportunities. In fact, much of the European response to such gaps appears to be due to migrants from Ireland and Scandinavia. Females tended to originate in English-speaking countries and countries that were agriculturally oriented. Service and manufacturing jobs in source countries discouraged the migration of females relative to males. Males tended to follow recent migrants more than females, but females responded more to long-term influences as measured by stocks of migrants from their source countries who had previously settled in the U.S. Countries with high birth rates had relatively fewer female emigrants, whereas those with high rates of natural increase 20 years earlier experienced relatively more male emigration. Intact families, other family members (including family-strategy male migrants and trailing female migrants), and single males and females responded strongly to economic incentives, but the singles were most responsive followed by family-strategy males.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 356-382

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:45:y:2008:i:4:p:356-382
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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