Returns to Migration for Swedish Immigrants in the United States during the Age of Mass Migration

Marcos Castillo, Lund University
Björn Eriksson, Lund University

Between 1850 and 1930, during the Age of Mass Migration to the United States, Sweden was one of the sending countries with the highest emigration rates to the US, with over a million Swedes leaving their country for the US, in the hopes of better economic opportunities. During this period, the US had a policy close to open borders, which allows studying migration economics without the presence of entry requirements in the receiving country. In this paper, with the use of an occupation-based class scheme, we study if for the Sweden-to-US migrants the US truly represented a land of opportunities, by comparing these migrants to their peers that stayed in Sweden during that period. The dataset used to conduct the study is obtained by linking individuals from the Swedish to the US Censuses, with the novelty of using emigration records as an intermediate step in the linking process, since a direct census-to-census link may result in lower linkage rates because of methodological and linguistic differences across countries.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 89. Land and Labor in the Age of Mass Migration