IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gravity and Migration before Railways : Evidence from Parisian Prostitutes and Revolutionaries


  • Kelly, Morgan

    (University College Dublin, CAGE and CEPR)

  • Cormac ´O Grada

    (University College Dublin and CAGE)


Although urban growth historically depended on large inflows of migrants, little is known of the process of migration in the era before railways. Here we use detailed data for Paris on women arrested for prostitution in the 1760s, or registered as prostitutes in the 1830s and 1850s; and of men holding identity cards in the 1790s, to examine patterns of female and male migration. We supplement these with data on all women and men buried in 1833. Migration was highest from areas of high living standards, measured by literacy rates. Distance was a strong deterrent to female migration (reflecting limited employment opportunities) that falls with railways, whereas its considerably lower impact on men barely changes through the nineteenth century.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly, Morgan & Cormac ´O Grada, 2018. "Gravity and Migration before Railways : Evidence from Parisian Prostitutes and Revolutionaries," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 378, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:378

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Poot, Jacques & Alimi, Omoniyi & Cameron, Michael P. & Maré, David C., 2016. "The gravity model of migration: the successful comeback of an ageing superstar in regional science," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 36, pages 63-86.
    2. Bates, Douglas & Mächler, Martin & Bolker, Ben & Walker, Steve, 2015. "Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 67(i01).
    3. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1987_42n2_0388 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kelly, Morgan & Ó Gráda, Cormac, 2018. "Gravity and Migration before Railways: Evidence from Parisian Prostitutes and Revolutionaries," CEPR Discussion Papers 13046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. JANSSENS, Jochen & DE CORTE, Annelies & SÖRENSEN, Kenneth, 2016. "Water distribution network design optimisation with respect to reliability," Working Papers 2016007, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    3. Raymond Hernandez & Elizabeth A. Pyatak & Cheryl L. P. Vigen & Haomiao Jin & Stefan Schneider & Donna Spruijt-Metz & Shawn C. Roll, 2021. "Understanding Worker Well-Being Relative to High-Workload and Recovery Activities across a Whole Day: Pilot Testing an Ecological Momentary Assessment Technique," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(19), pages 1-17, October.
    4. Morán-Ordóñez, Alejandra & Ameztegui, Aitor & De Cáceres, Miquel & de-Miguel, Sergio & Lefèvre, François & Brotons, Lluís & Coll, Lluís, 2020. "Future trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services in Mediterranean forests under global change scenarios," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    5. Dongyan Liu & Chongran Zhou & John K. Keesing & Oscar Serrano & Axel Werner & Yin Fang & Yingjun Chen & Pere Masque & Janine Kinloch & Aleksey Sadekov & Yan Du, 2022. "Wildfires enhance phytoplankton production in tropical oceans," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 13(1), pages 1-9, December.
    6. Zhaogeng Yang & Yanhui Li & Peijin Hu & Jun Ma & Yi Song, 2020. "Prevalence of Anemia and its Associated Factors among Chinese 9-, 12-, and 14-Year-Old Children: Results from 2014 Chinese National Survey on Students Constitution and Health," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(5), pages 1-10, February.
    7. Baumann, Elias & Kern, Jana & Lessmann, Stefan, 2019. "Usage Continuance in Software-as-a-Service," IRTG 1792 Discussion Papers 2019-005, Humboldt University of Berlin, International Research Training Group 1792 "High Dimensional Nonstationary Time Series".
    8. C. Gabriel Hidalgo Pizango & Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado & Jhon del Águila-Pasquel & Gerardo Flores Llampazo & Johan de Jong & César J. Córdova Oroche & José M. Reyna Huaymacari & Steve J. Carver & D, 2022. "Sustainable palm fruit harvesting as a pathway to conserve Amazon peatland forests," Nature Sustainability, Nature, vol. 5(6), pages 479-487, June.
    9. Szefer Elena & Graham Jinko & Lu Donghuan & Beg Mirza Faisal & Nathoo Farouk, 2017. "Multivariate association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms in Alzgene linkage regions and structural changes in the brain: discovery, refinement and validation," Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology, De Gruyter, vol. 16(5-6), pages 349-365, December.
    10. Julien Collet & Samantha C Patrick & Henri Weimerskirch, 2017. "A comparative analysis of the behavioral response to fishing boats in two albatross species," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 28(5), pages 1337-1347.
    11. Sean Coogan & Zhixian Sui & David Raubenheimer, 2018. "Gluttony and guilt: monthly trends in internet search query data are comparable with national-level energy intake and dieting behavior," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(1), pages 1-9, December.
    12. Darcy Steeg Morris & Kimberly F. Sellers, 2022. "A Flexible Mixed Model for Clustered Count Data," Stats, MDPI, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
    13. Daniel Y Choi & Thomas W Wittig & Bryan M Kluever, 2020. "An evaluation of bird and bat mortality at wind turbines in the Northeastern United States," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(8), pages 1-22, August.
    14. Vonneilich, Nico & Lüdecke, Daniel & von dem Knesebeck, Olaf, 2020. "Educational inequalities in self-rated health and social relationships – analyses based on the European Social Survey 2002-2016," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 267(C).
    15. Kimmo Eriksson & Irina Vartanova & Petra Ornstein & Pontus Strimling, 2021. "The common-is-moral association is stronger among less religious people," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 1-8, December.
    16. Sarah V Bentley & Katharine H Greenaway & S Alexander Haslam, 2017. "An online paradigm for exploring the self-reference effect," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(5), pages 1-21, May.
    17. Tsai, Tsung-Han, 2016. "A Bayesian Approach to Dynamic Panel Models with Endogenous Rarely Changing Variables," Political Science Research and Methods, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 595-620, September.
    18. Mitchell G Maltenfort & Yong Chen & Christopher B Forrest, 2019. "Prediction of 30-day pediatric unplanned hospitalizations using the Johns Hopkins Adjusted Clinical Groups risk adjustment system," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(8), pages 1-12, August.
    19. Koller, Manuel, 2016. "robustlmm: An R Package for Robust Estimation of Linear Mixed-Effects Models," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 75(i06).
    20. Isabel Neira & Fernando Bruna & Marta Portela & Adela García-Aracil, 2018. "Individual Well-Being, Geographical Heterogeneity and Social Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1067-1090, April.

    More about this item


    Migration; gravity; prostitution;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:378. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jane Snape (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.