Do Federal Programs Affect Internal Migration? The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Mobility During the Great Depression
Abstract** Revised version 2005** Using a recently-uncovered data set that describes over 30 federal New Deal spending, loan, and mortgage insurance programs across all U.S. counties from 1933 to 1939, this paper empirically examines the New Deal's impact on inter-county migration from 1930 to 1940. We construct a net migration measure for each county as the difference between the Census's reported population change from 1930 to 1940 and the natural increase in population (births minus infant deaths minus non-infant deaths) over the same period. Our empirical approach accounts for both the simultaneity between New Deal allocations and migration and the geographic spillovers that likely resulted when spending in one county may have affected the migration decisions of people in neighboring counties. We find that greater spending on relief and public works and a larger value of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration were all associated with migration into counties where such money was allocated. The FHA's stimulus to the housing industry and large-scale public works projects explain most of the regional variation in migration rates across the country. New Deal loans and agricultural spending to take land out of production had negligible effects on migration patterns.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8283.
Date of creation: May 2001
Date of revision:
Note: DAE PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-06-08 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
- Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
- Price V. Fishback, 2012. "Relief During the Great Depression in Australia and America," CEH Discussion Papers 005, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Mourao, Paulo, 2005.
"La Economia y Las Uvas de la ira
[Talking about economics using The Grapes of Wrath]," MPRA Paper 3066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Price V. Fishback & Samuel Allen & Jonathan Fox & Brendan Livingston, 2010.
"A Patchwork Safety Net: A Survey of Cliometric Studies of Income Maintenance Programs in the United States in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,"
NBER Working Papers
15696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price Fishback & Samuel Allen & Jonathan Fox & Brendan Livingston, 2010. "A Patchwork Safety Net: A Survey Of Cliometric Studies Of Income Maintenance Programs In The United States In The First Half Of The Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 895-940, December.
- Kari Hämäläinen & Petri Böckerman, 2004.
"Regional Labor Market Dynamics, Housing, and Migration,"
Journal of Regional Science,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 543-568.
- Kari Hämäläinen & Petri Böckerman, 2002. "Regional Labour Market Dynamics, Housing and Migration," Discussion Papers 284, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
- Joshua L. Rosenbloom & William A. Sundstrom, 2003. "The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990," NBER Working Papers 9857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sorensen, Todd A. & Fishback, Price & Allen, Samuel K. & Kantor, Shawn, 2007.
"Migration Creation, Diversion, and Retention: New Deal Grants and Migration: 1935-1940,"
IZA Discussion Papers
3060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Todd Sorensen & Price V. Fishback & Samuel Allen & Shawn E. Kantor, 2007. "Migration Creation, Diversion, and Retention: New Deal Grants and Migration: 1935-1940," NBER Working Papers 13491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Böckerman, Petri & Hämäläinen, Kari, 2002. "Housing, dynamics of regional labour markets and migration," ERSA conference papers ersa02p159, European Regional Science Association.
- Price V. Fishback & William C. Horrace & Shawn Kantor, 2001. "The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Local Economic Activity: An Examination of Retail Sales, 1929-1939," NBER Working Papers 8108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fishback, Price V. & Horrace, William C. & Kantor, Shawn, 2006. "The impact of New Deal expenditures on mobility during the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 179-222, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.