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Going Places: Effects of Early U.S. Compulsory Schooling Laws on Internal Migration

Emily Rauscher () and Byeongdon Oh ()
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Emily Rauscher: Brown University
Byeongdon Oh: University of Kansas

Population Research and Policy Review, 2021, vol. 40, issue 2, No 8, 255-283

Abstract: Abstract Both the industrialization thesis and institutional theories of education hypothesize that early educational expansion increased internal migration. We take advantage of state variation in early U.S. compulsory schooling laws and use a regression discontinuity approach to test this hypothesis in 1860–1950 Census data. Results indicate that those required to attend school were more likely to leave their state of birth than others. Effects were stronger among men in states with low occupational status scores, suggesting education encouraged migration out of states with fewer occupational opportunities. Potential contemporary implications for the U.S. and developing countries are discussed.

Keywords: Internal migration; Compulsory schooling; Educational expansion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11113-020-09578-8

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