November 5, 2014
Are migrants positively or negatively self-selected from within their populations of origin? Ariell Zimran and I study this question by collecting data on the heights of Italian passengers arriving in Ellis Island between 1907 and 1925, matching them to their places of origins, and comparing their heights to that of their cohorts of origin.
November 5, 2014
The migration of one and a half million Jews from the Russian Empire to the United States during the years 1881–1914 is commonly linked to the occurrence of pogroms, eruptions of anti-Jewish mob violence, that took place mainly in two waves in 1881–1882 and in 1903–1906. Although the common perception that pogroms were a major cause for Jewish migration is now questioned by historians, little quantitative evidence exists to support or refute this view. This paper addresses this question empirically, based on a large newly constructed data sets. The answer is a complex combination of a "yes" and a "no".
April 10, 2014
Were Jewish immigrants from the Pale of Settlement to the United States really driven by pogroms? This is a question with which I deal empirically, using data on migration and on events of anti-Jewish violence. But before zooming out to the large statistical picture, it is important to verify anecdotally that one can find particular cases in which pogrom-driven migration did clearly occur. For this, I chose to dwell into a case study of a single Jewish town–Kalarash–that experienced a rather gruesome pogrom in October [o.s.] 1905. In this rather extreme case, I show here that indeed there was such a thing as pogrom-driven migration. That is, the pogrom was so devastating that the data shows without doubt that many Jews of Kalarash that would not have immigrated otherwise, were driven out by it in search of a safe haven in a new land. This is how it looked.
November 24, 2012
I present an algorithm that I developed to identify who was Jewish and who was not from among a population of immigrants who arrived in Ellis Island from the Russian Empire during the pre-WWI Age of Mass Migration. The algorithm has two main steps: Determine how “Jewish” were each first name and last name Determine whether each immigrant was Jewish or not based on his first and last names I explain how this algorithm works and show evidence indicating that this identification process works well.
July 24, 2012
I present here an analysis of the distribution of Jewish and non-Jewish names among immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is a by-product of my work on the Jewish immigrants from the Pale of Settlement. The first sections explain a few technical details about the data. It is followed by the lists of most common Jewish and non-Jewish names and a few comments.