'The cultural transmission of the fertility transition: evidence from internal migrations in 19th century France' with Hillel Rapoport

Past Event

25 May 2016, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Queen Elizabeth House
Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

This seminar is organised by the International Migration Institute, an Oxford Martin School Institute


  • Hillel Rapoport, University of Paris 1 and Paris School of Economics
  • Guillaume Daudin
  • Raphael Franck

Summary: France experienced a demographic transition earlier than richer and more educated countries. This presentation offers a novel explanation for this puzzle that emphasises the diffusion of culture and information through internal migration. It tests how migration affected fertility by building a decennial bilateral migration matrix between French regions for 1861-1911. The identification strategy uses exogenous variation in transportation costs resulting from the construction of railways. The results suggest the convergence towards low birth rates can be explained by the diffusion of low-fertility norms by migrants, especially by migrants to and from Paris.