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

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  • Morgan Kelly
  • Cormac Ó Gráda

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 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

  • Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2018. "Gravity and Migration before Railways: Evidence from Parisian Prostitutes and Revolutionaries," Working Papers 201810, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201810
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9451
    File Function: First version, 2018
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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.
    3. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1987_42n2_0388 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1986_41n2_0302 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1981_36n1_0171 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bla:ehsrev:v:71:y:2018:i:3:p:747-771 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Gravity; Prostitution;

    JEL classification:

    • N - Economic History

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