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What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Nineteenth Century?

Timothy J. Hatton and Jeffrey G. Williamson
Population and Development Review
Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 533-559
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137600
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137600
Page Count: 27
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What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Nineteenth Century?
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Abstract

This article examines the cross-country and intertemporal determinants of overseas migration from Europe in the late nineteenth century. Using a new real wage data base, the results support the pioneering work of Richard Easterlin: rates of natural increase in Europe and income gaps between Europe and overseas were both important, while any additional influence associated with industrialization was modest. The network effects of previous migrants were very strong. The upswing of the emigration cycle was dominated by the earlier stages of the demographic transition and industrialization, reinforced by the rising stock of migrants abroad. On the downswing of the cycle these forces ebbed and were increasingly dominated by the convergence of real wages in the Old World on real wages in the New.

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