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Rural crisis and rural exodus? Local migration dynamics during the crisis of the 1840s in Flanders (Belgium)

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  • Deschacht, Nick
  • Winter, Anne

Abstract

This article analyses the migration dynamics in the wake of the 1845–1847 subsistence crisis in Flanders by means of a quantitative analysis of key demographic and economic data at municipal level. The data are unique in that they allow to directly measure in-migration and out-migration at the level of individual villages and towns. The results show that contrary to the powerful image of a push-driven rural exodus, it was not the villages hardest hit by the crisis that recorded the highest levels of migration. Rather, in-migration and out-migration rates often moved in tandem, and were determined primarily by existing migration traditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Deschacht, Nick & Winter, Anne, 2015. "Rural crisis and rural exodus? Local migration dynamics during the crisis of the 1840s in Flanders (Belgium)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:56:y:2015:i:c:p:32-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2014.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Humphries, Jane, 1990. "Enclosures, Common Rights, and Women: The Proletarianization of Families in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 17-42, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Nineteenth century; Rural crisis; Belgium; Flanders;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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