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

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  • Kelly, Morgan
  • Ó Gráda, Cormac

Abstract

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 or joining the army in the 1790s, to examine patterns of female and male migration. We supplement these with data on all women and men buried in 1833. We find that distance was a stronger deterrent to female migration than to male (consistent with more limited employment opportunities for women) that falls with the appearance of railways. Migration was highest from areas of high living standards, measured by literacy rates, with the largest impact again for women, especially those from higher social classes.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13046
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2015. "Human Capital and Industrialization: Evidence from the Age of Enlightenment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1825-1883.
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    6. Adam Crymble & Adam Dennett & Tim Hitchcock, 2018. "Modelling regional imbalances in English plebeian migration to late eighteenth‐century London†," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(3), pages 747-771, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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