The sleeping giant who left for America: the determinants and impact of Danish emigration during the age of mass migration

Nina Boberg-Fazlic, Markus Lampe, Paul Richard Sharp*

*Kontaktforfatter

Publikation: Working paperForskning

Abstrakt

What determines emigration, and what impact does it have on the sending country? We
consider the case of Denmark between 1868 and 1908, when a large number of people left for
America. A significant fraction of these were tyender, a servant-like occupational group that
was heavily discriminated against at the time, and who saw little opportunities for
advancement at home. We exploit the fact that the Danish agrarian reforms between 1784 and
1807 had differential impacts on this class of landless laborers around the country, and use
detailed parish-level data – police protocols of emigrants; population censuses and land
registers – to show that areas with a more unequal distribution of land witnessed larger
emigration. We then use income tax data, finding evidence of a positive income effect on the
areas which saw most emigration.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
UdgiverEuropean Historical Economics Society
Antal sider30
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2020
NavnEHES Working Papers in Economic History
Nummer213

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