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Persistent social networks: Civil war veterans who fought together co-locate in later life

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  • Costa, Dora L.
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Roudiez, Christopher
  • Wilson, Sven

Abstract

We demonstrate the long reach of early social ties in the location decision of individuals and in their older age mortality risk using data on Union Army veterans of the US Civil War (1861-5). We estimate discrete choice migration models to quantify the trade-offs across locations faced by veterans. Veterans were more likely to move to a neighborhood or county where men from their same war company lived and were more likely to move to such areas than to areas where other veterans were located. Veterans also were less likely to move far from their origin and avoided urban immigrant areas and high mortality risk areas. They also avoided areas that opposed the Civil War. This co-location evidence highlights the existence of persistent social networks. Such social networks had long-term consequences: veterans living close to war-time comrades had a 6% lower probability of dying.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, Dora L. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Roudiez, Christopher & Wilson, Sven, 2018. "Persistent social networks: Civil war veterans who fought together co-locate in later life," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 289-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:289-299
    DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2017.09.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization," Working Papers 20180020, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Sep 2018.
    2. Shari Eli & Laura Salisbury & Allison Shertzer, 2016. "Migration Responses to Conflict: Evidence from the Border of the American Civil War," NBER Working Papers 22591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dora L. Costa & Heather DeSomer & Eric Hanss & Christopher Roudiez & Sven E. Wilson & Noelle Yetter, 2017. "Union Army veterans, all grown up," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 79-95, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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