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All in the Family: A Dynasty Approach to Household Migration Evidence from the 19th Century Austro-Hungarian Empire

Alexander Klein

CERGE-EI Working Papers from The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague

Abstract: This paper deals with the rural-urban migration of families in the last decades of the 19th century in one of the most developed regions of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy – the Pilsen region. The analysis indicates that the household head’s expected real rural-urban wage gap was not the main factor behind migration. Instead, the observed behavior is consistent with families maximizing a dynastic utility function such that it was the future prospects of children which triggered migration. The results are not based on tracing of families in time but rely on identifying a control group of stayers. Specifically, I compare the structure of migrant families at the time of arrival to an urban area with that of families who stayed in the hinterlands and to decipher migration motifs.

Date: 2005-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-lab and nep-tra
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