The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact

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About 55 million Europeans migrated to the New World between 1850 and 1914, landing in North and South America and in Australia. This mass migration marked a profound shift in the distribution of global population and economic activity. In this book, Timothy J. Hatton and Jeffrey G. Williamson describe the migration and analyze its causes and effects. Their study offers a comprehensive treatment of a vital period in the modern economic development of the Western world. Moreover, it explores questions that we still debate today: Why does a nation's emigration rate typically rise with early industrialization? How do immigrants choose their destinations? Are international labor markets segmented? Do immigrants "rob" jobs from locals? What impact do migrants have on living standards in the host and sending countries? Did mass migration make an important contribution to the catching-up of poor countries on rich? Did it create a globalization backlash?

This work takes a new view of mass migration. Although often bold and controversial in method, it is the first to assign an explicitly economic interpretation to this important social phenomenon. The Age of Mass Migration will be useful to all students of migration, and to anyone interested in economic growth and globalization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an important contribution to the literature, and it will interest economic historians, demographers, and microeconomists. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."—Choice

"Men and women have always been willing to 'better themselves' through migration—when they could. The century or so before the First World War offered more Europeans the opportunity of doing so than ever before or since. In The Age of Mass Migration, Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey Williamson, two of the best economic historians of their generation, apply their complementary skills to the production of an integrated and compelling analysis of this mass migration of over fifty million people. Combining theory and measurement, they offer a lively and persuasive interpretation of differences in the size and timing of migrant flows across Europe during this 'liberal interlude', and a powerful analysis of the consequences for the economies that received and sent them."—Cormac Ó Gráda, University College, Dublin

"Hatton and Williamson's The Age of Mass Migration: An Economic Analysis is a magnificent study of the flow of immigrants from Western Europe to the New World in the six decades prior to World War I. Economic theory and econometrics are skillfully used to analyze the determinants of the flow and the labor market consequences for both the sending and receiving countries. This carefully executed study will be essential reading for economists and historians with an interest in immigration or in the economic history of Europe and the Americas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."—Barry R. Chiswick, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Hatton and Williamson have written an important book, one which should be read by historians and economists. By using rigorous quantitative analysis to a much greater extent than in any previous work on the subject, they explain the history of the key phenomena of international migration and the development of international labor markets in a new and exciting way."—Dudley Baines, London School of Economics and Political Science

"A true tour de force by two acknowledged masters of the craft, this book is a grand survey of the economics of international migration in the nineteenth century and a must-read for anyone with an interest in why emigration occurs and what its effects are. One of the most important and complete studies of its kind, this work is certain to provoke discussions for years to come."—Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195116519
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Lexile: 1420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Essex

Harvard University

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Table of Contents

1 What This Book Is About 3
2 The Issues 7
3 Why Did Europeans Emigrate? 32
4 Cycles, Swings, and Shocks: Waiting to Make the Move 59
5 After the Famine: Irish Experience 75
6 Segmented Markets, Multiple Destinations: Italian Experience 95
7 Assimilating the Immigrant: An American Melting Pot? 123
8 Absorbing the Immigrant: The Impact on Americans 154
9 Labor Market Impact at Home: Ireland and Sweden 178
10 Labor Market Impact Abroad and Convergence 206
11 Mass Migration and Inequality Trends Within Countries 231
12 Coda: The Evolution of a Global Labor Market 249
Notes 253
References 271
Index 291
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