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Maritime careers in the Dutch Republic: some preliminary findings

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Slides presented by Jelle van Lottum and Lodewijk Petram at the 2018 World Economic History Congress, Boston (MA), in the session 'Factor Costs in the Expansion of Pre-Modern Ocean Shipping: Labor, Capital, and Knowledge Transfer, 1300-1700'

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Maritime careers in the Dutch Republic: some preliminary findings

  1. 1. Maritime careers in the Dutch Republic: some preliminary findings Labour migration, skills and the maritime labor market in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe WEHC 2018 1 August 2018 Jelle van Lottum | jelle.van.lottum@huygens.knaw.nl Lodewijk Petram | lodewijk.petram@huygens.knaw.nl 1
  2. 2. Project background • CLARIAH research pilot, uses DH methods to address a hotly debated topic: what is the economic contribution of migrant workers on a recipient economy? • Various ways of approaching this issue, but possibilities for the early modern period are limited • Our approach: comparative analysis of job mobility (JM) between native and migrant workers. JM provides an insight in skill levels of both groups (do workers have the skills to rise up the ranks?), and the opportunities provided by the recipient labour market (do migrants get the possibility for advancement?) • For this paper we will focus on changes over time. So, do we see different career patterns when comparing native and migrant workers? Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions 2
  3. 3. Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) • Source used: Dutch East India Company muster rolls (data on the company’s ship crews on Dutch-Asiatic voyages; c. 775,000 records; 1634-1798) • c. 150,000 unique attestations of places of birth • In our project we have standardised placenames of 80% of the person entities in the dataset.This allows us to 1) determine whether someone can be considered a migrant worker or not (we use the modern concept of nationality) 2) visualise recruitment patterns (all standardised placenames are georeferenced) 3 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  4. 4. Migrant workers aboard VOC vessels (Europe-Asia vv.) Global recruitment…… ……though chiefly European 4 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  5. 5. Changing migrant participation 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 1620 1640 1660 1680 1700 1720 1740 1760 1780 1800 1820 Share of foreign workers aboardVOC vessels (VOCOP dataset) Share migrants (ALL) Share migrants common soldiers Share migrants common sailors Share migrants officers soldiers all sailors officers 5 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  6. 6. Changing migrant participation Recruitment area of sailors aboard VOC vessels between 1630s and 1790s 6 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  7. 7. Changing migrant participation Recruitment area of soldiers aboard VOC vessels between 1630s and 1790s 7 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  8. 8. Changing migrant participation Recruitment area of officers (seamen) aboard VOC vessels between 1630s and 1790s 8 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  9. 9. Changing migrant participation • The VOC dataset (VOCOP) indicates that there were important changes in migrant participation over time • Migrant labour participation increased strongly • The VOC’s recruitment area (hinterland) expanded over time • Especially labour migration from Germany increased strongly • Causes? Diminishing Dutch supply (low or neg. population growth) in the 18th century • But does this mean greater chances for advancement (promotion)? • Or do we see labour market segmentation? Do migrants proportionally end up in the lower ranks? • To answer this question we need to look at careers… 9 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  10. 10. Career reconstruction 10 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  11. 11. Career reconstruction • Record linkage • Tailor-made normalisation algorithm to reduce spelling variation • Clusters of exact matches between normalised person names & standardised or normalised place of birth • Additional rules and conditions 11 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  12. 12. Career reconstruction 12 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  13. 13. Career reconstruction • Validation of first batch of candidate matches (VOCCAR): 38,997 candidate clusters (37,374 with start date after 1699), made up of 97,354 records • Next: create additional linksets with somewhat looser algorithm 13 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  14. 14. C VOCOP vs. VOCCAR • Similar trend over time 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1690 1700 1710 1720 1730 1740 1750 1760 1770 1780 1790 VOCOP andVOCCAR compared (% native workers) VOCCAR VOCOP 14 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  15. 15. Results: who is promoted more often (to an officer’s rank)? Where do successful workers come from? 15 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  16. 16. i Results: who is promoted more often (to an officer’s rank)? Positive: Dutch workers gain (proportionally) more promotions Negative: migrant workers gain (proportionally) more promotions -6% -4% -2% 0% 2% 4% 6% 1700 1710 1720 1730 1740 1750 1760 1770 1780 Overrepresentation of Dutch promotions (to an officer’s rank) • Improved chances for migrant workers 16 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions
  17. 17. Conclusions • Labour is an important factor input in the maritime sector • Dutch sector relied to a large extent on foreign workers • Data shows this became more important over time • But this is not only a matter of quantity, quality of workers mattered too (their human capital) • Influx of skilled migrant workers was necessary due to tightening native labour supply • Career reconstruction shows that this resulted in increasingly succesful migrant careers • This suggests: 1) No evidence of labour market segmentation 2) Skilled migrant workers were given equal opportunities • Migrant workers provided an important contribution to the sector, both quantitatively and qualitatively 17 Project background Case study: Dutch East India Company (VOC) Changing migrant participation Career reconstruction Results and conclusions

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