Across the Sea to Ireland: Return Atlantic Migration before the First World War

36 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020

See all articles by Alan Fernihough

Alan Fernihough

Queen's University Management School

Cormac O'Grada

University College Dublin (UCD)

Date Written: November 22, 2019

Abstract

Are return migrants ‘losers’ who fail to adapt to the challenges of the host economy, and thereby exacerbate the brain drain linked to emigration? Or are they ‘winners’ whose return enhances the human and physical capital of the home country? These questions are the subject of a burgeoning literature. This paper analyse a new database culled from the 1911 Irish population census to address these issues for returnees to Ireland from North America more than a century ago. The evidence suggests that those who returned had the edge over the population as a whole in terms of human capital, if not also over those who remained abroad.

Keywords: migration, brain gain, economic history, Ireland

JEL Classification: N, N33, J61

Suggested Citation

Fernihough, Alan and O'Grada, Cormac, Across the Sea to Ireland: Return Atlantic Migration before the First World War (November 22, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3491676 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3491676

Alan Fernihough

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Cormac O'Grada (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Dublin 4, 4
Ireland

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