Industrious migrants: gender and the earnings of migrants in Swedish manufacturing around 1900

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Migration played a central role in industrialisation by reallocating labour from the countryside to urban areas and centres of manufacturing where it was in high demand, and better remunerated, with implications for economic growth and individual well-being. We investigate the labour market performance of internal migrants in Sweden around the turn of the last century; a period of industrialisation and increasing migration. We add to the literature in two ways: first by focusing on earnings instead of occupational attainment; second by extending the scope beyond the prevailing focus on men by also considering women. To assess how migrants fared compared to locals, we use detailed matched firm-individual data covering three manufacturing industries which varied in terms of production, organisation, and composition of the workforce. We find that migrants, irrespective of gender, performed well in that their earnings were higher than those of locals in general and of co-workers in the same firm. These premia are consistent with a Roy model in which migrants’ sort into locations where returns to skills match individual ability. An increase in both hours worked and effort further explains the observed earnings premium among female migrants.
Sidor (från-till)142-166
TidskriftScandinavian Economic History Review
Tidigt onlinedatum2021 aug. 30
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Ekonomisk historia


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