The Returns to Migration: Internal Migration and Intergenerational Mobility in Sweden, 1880-1940

Lilla salen Session 7: Historical Perspectives on Migration organized by Jonatan Andersson


Jonatan Andersson


What where the effects of migration on upwards mobility in the past? I show that the returns to internal migration were substantial by using a difference-in-difference framework and longitudinal data from late nineteenth and early twentieth century Sweden. Tentative results show that the effect of internal migration on economic status was 20 per cent in the long run. However, the gains were lower for migrants from poorer households. The results suggest that internal migration was an important strategy to facilitate social mobility. Yet, the lower returns for migrants from poorer households might explain why not more people chose to migrate.


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