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The long-run impact of historical shocks on the decision to migrate: Evidence from the Irish Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Gaia Narciso

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Battista Severgnini

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Gayane Vardanyan

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

What is the long-run impact of large negative historical events on the individual decision to migrate? We investigate this research question by looking at the effect of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1850) on the long-run individual decision to migrate to the US during the Age of the Mass Migration. We construct a unique dataset based on two early 20th century Irish Censuses and the Ellis Island Administrative Records. This allows us to test whether the Great Irish Famine, one of the most lethal episodes of mass starvation in history, had a long-run impact on individuals’ migration decisions. Controlling for individual and geographical characteristics, we find that the Irish Famine was a significant long-run driver of individuals’ migration choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaia Narciso & Battista Severgnini & Gayane Vardanyan, 2020. "The long-run impact of historical shocks on the decision to migrate: Evidence from the Irish Migration," Trinity Economics Papers tep0220, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    2. Gráda, Cormac Ó & O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Migration as disaster relief: Lessons from the Great Irish Famine," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 3-25, April.
    3. Mounir Karadja & Erik Prawitz, 2019. "Exit, Voice, and Political Change: Evidence from Swedish Mass Migration to the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1864-1925.
    4. Kirchberger, Martina, 2017. "Natural disasters and labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 40-58.
    5. Karl Whelan, 1999. "Economic Geography and the Long-run Effects of the Great Irish Famine," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 1-20.
    6. Gaia Narciso & Battista Severgnini, 2016. "The Deep Roots of Rebellion: Evidence from the Irish Revolution," Trinity Economics Papers tep2216, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Goodspeed, Tyler Beck, 2016. "Microcredit and adjustment to environmental shock: Evidence from the Great Famine in Ireland," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 258-277.
    8. Connor, Dylan Shane, 2019. "The Cream of the Crop? Geography, Networks, and Irish Migrant Selection in the Age of Mass Migration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 139-175, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mass migration; negative shock; long-run impact; Great Famine.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • 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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