DP16162 Emigration from the UK to the USA, Canada and Australia/New Zealand, 1870-1913: Quantity and Quality

Author(s): Timothy J. Hatton
Publication Date: May 2021
Date Revised: May 2021
Keyword(s): Migrant skills, Nineteenth Century, UK emigration
JEL(s): J61, N11, N13, O15
Programme Areas: Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16162

This paper revisits the determinants of emigration from the UK to the USA, Canada and Australia/New Zealand from 1870 to 1913. In the absence of restrictive immigration policies, the flow of emigration to these destinations responded to economic shocks and trends. Emigrants to Australia and New Zealand were more skilled on average than those heading across the Atlantic, a feature that does not correspond well with skill differentials in the manner predicted by the Roy model. While assisted passages (subsidised fares) increased the volume of emigration to Australia and New Zealand they cannot account for its higher skill content.