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Internal Migration, Education and Upward Rank Mobility:Evidence from American History

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  • Zachary Ward

Abstract

To what extent does internal migration lead to upward mobility? Using within-brother variation and a new linked dataset from 1910 to 1940, I estimate that internal migrants were more likely to improve on their father’s percentile rank than non-migrants. On average, the effect of migration was nearly four times the effect of one year of education; for those raised in poorer households, migration’s effect was about nine times that of education. The evidence suggests that internal migration was a key strategy for intergenerational progress in a context of rapid industrialization, high rates of rural-to-urban migration and large interregional income gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Zachary Ward, 2019. "Internal Migration, Education and Upward Rank Mobility:Evidence from American History," CEH Discussion Papers 04, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:hpaper:076
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/ceh/WP201904.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    internal migration; intergenerational mobility; urbanization;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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