IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/21384.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Great Migration in Black and White: New Evidence on the Selection and Sorting of Southern Migrants

Author

Listed:
  • William J. Collins
  • Marianne H. Wanamaker

Abstract

We construct datasets of linked census records to study internal migrants’ selection and destination choices during the first decades of the “Great Migration” (1910-1930). We study both whites and blacks and intra- and inter-regional migration. While there is some evidence of positive selection, the degree of selection was small and participation in migration was widespread. Differences in background, including initial location, cannot account for racial differences in destination choices. Blacks and whites were similarly responsive to pre-existing migrant stocks from their home state, but black men were more deterred by distance, attracted to manufacturing, and responsive to labor demand.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2015. "The Great Migration in Black and White: New Evidence on the Selection and Sorting of Southern Migrants," NBER Working Papers 21384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21384
    Note: DAE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21384.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leah Platt Boustan & Matthew E. Kahn & Paul W. Rhode, 2012. "Moving to Higher Ground: Migration Response to Natural Disasters in the Early Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 238-244, May.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-1856, August.
    3. Larry A. Sjaastad, 1962. "The Costs and Returns of Human Migration," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 80-93, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Higgs, Robert, 1982. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 725-737, September.
    5. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, January-J.
    6. Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood & Haizheng Li, 2001. "A Conditional Logit Approach to U.S. State‐to‐State Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 337-360, May.
    7. Logan, Trevon D., 2009. "Health, human capital, and African-American migration before 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 169-185, April.
    8. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    9. Baker, Richard B., 2015. "From the Field to the Classroom: The Boll Weevil's Impact on Education in Rural Georgia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1128-1160, December.
    10. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
    11. Maloney, Thomas N., 2001. "Migration and Economic Opportunity in the 1910s: New Evidence on African-American Occupational Mobility in the North," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 147-165, January.
    12. Collins, Wiiliam J., 1997. "When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay of the Great Black Migration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 607-632, September.
    13. Margo, Robert A, 1984. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I: Comment and Further Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 768-776, September.
    14. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
    15. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg90-1.
    16. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2005. "History Lessons: The End of American Exceptionalism? Mobility in the United States Since 1850," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 199-215, Summer.
    17. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "The Pursuit of Opportunity: Explaining Selective Black Migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 391-417, May.
    18. Abramitzky, Ran & Boustan, Leah Platt & Eriksson, Katherine, 2013. "Have the poor always been less likely to migrate? Evidence from inheritance practices during the age of mass migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 2-14.
    19. Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Postbellum U.S. South," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 413-445, April.
    20. Mitchener, Kris James & McLean, Ian W., 1999. "U.S.Regional Growth And Convergence, 1880–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 1016-1042, December.
    21. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    22. Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Evan J. Taylor & Lowell J. Taylor, 2015. "The Impact of the Great Migration on Mortality of African Americans: Evidence from the Deep South," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 477-503, February.
    23. Atack, Jeremy, 2013. "On the Use of Geographic Information Systems in Economic History: The American Transportation Revolution Revisited," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 313-338, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Xie, Bin, 2017. "The Effects of Immigration Quotas on Wages, the Great Black Migration, and Industrial Development," IZA Discussion Papers 11214, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bryan Stuart & Evan Taylor, 2017. "Migration Networks and Location Decisions: Evidence from U.S. Mass Migration," Working Papers 2017-26, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    3. Richard Hornbeck, 2020. "Dust Bowl Migrants: Identifying an Archetype," Working Papers 2020-120, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2019. "Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-122.
    5. William J. Collins, 2020. "The Great Migration of Black Americans from the US South: A Guide and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 27268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2020. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and US Immigration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 250-277, April.
    7. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson & James J. Feigenbaum & Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Automated Linking of Historical Data," NBER Working Papers 25825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Vasiliki Fouka & Soumyajit Mazumder & Marco Tabellini, 2019. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," Development Working Papers 445, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    9. Jung, Yeonha, 2020. "The long reach of cotton in the US South: Tenant farming, mechanization, and low-skill manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    10. Schneider, Eric B., 2020. "Collider bias in economic history research," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    11. Kose, Esra & Kuka, Elira & Shenhav, Na'ama, 2016. "Women's Enfranchisement and Children's Education: The Long-Run Impact of the U.S. Suffrage Movement," IZA Discussion Papers 10148, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Dribe, Martin & Eriksson, Björn & Scalone, Francesco, 2019. "Migration, marriage and social mobility: Women in Sweden 1880–1900," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 93-111.
    13. Margo, Robert A., 2016. "Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 301-341, June.
    14. Theodore F. Figinski & Erin Troland, 2020. "Health Insurance and Hospital Supply: Evidence from 1950s Coal Country," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Joseph Price & Kasey Buckles & Jacob Van Leeuwen & Isaac Riley, 2019. "Combining Family History and Machine Learning to Link Historical Records," NBER Working Papers 26227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Tabellini, Marco, 2020. "Racial Heterogeneity and Local Government Finances: Evidence from the Great Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 14319, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Jones, Daniel B. & Troesken, Werner & Walsh, Randall, 2017. "Political participation in a violent society: The impact of lynching on voter turnout in the post-Reconstruction South," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 29-46.
    18. Vasiliki Fouka & Soumyajit Mazumder & Marco Tabellini, 2018. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," Harvard Business School Working Papers 19-018, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2019.
    19. Martha Bailey & Connor Cole & Morgan Henderson & Catherine Massey, 2017. "How Well Do Automated Linking Methods Perform? Lessons from U.S. Historical Data," NBER Working Papers 24019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Calderon, Alvaro & Fouka, Vasiliki & Tabellini, Marco, 2020. "Racial Diversity, Electoral Preferences, and the Supply of Policy: the Great Migration and Civil Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 14318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. William J. Collins & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2017. "African American Intergenerational Economic Mobility Since 1880," NBER Working Papers 23395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Zachary Ward, 2019. "Internal Migration, Education and Upward Rank Mobility:Evidence from American History," CEH Discussion Papers 04, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. William J. Collins & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2014. "Selection and Economic Gains in the Great Migration of African Americans: New Evidence from Linked Census Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 220-252, January.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    3. William J. Collins, 2020. "The Great Migration of Black Americans from the US South: A Guide and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 27268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Margo, Robert A., 2016. "Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 301-341, June.
    5. Spitzer, Yannay & Zimran, Ariell, 2018. "Migrant self-selection: Anthropometric evidence from the mass migration of Italians to the United States, 1907–1925," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 226-247.
    6. Logan, Trevon D., 2009. "Health, human capital, and African-American migration before 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 169-185, April.
    7. Abramitzky, Ran & Boustan, Leah Platt & Eriksson, Katherine, 2013. "Have the poor always been less likely to migrate? Evidence from inheritance practices during the age of mass migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 2-14.
    8. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-1856, August.
    9. Corneo, Giacomo & Neidhöfer, Guido, 2019. "Income redistribution and self-selection of immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 13694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    11. William J. Collins & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2017. "African American Intergenerational Economic Mobility Since 1880," NBER Working Papers 23395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jung, Yeonha, 2020. "The long reach of cotton in the US South: Tenant farming, mechanization, and low-skill manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    13. Robert A. Margo, 2014. "The economic history of migration: the pre-World War One USA as lens," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 3, pages 42-64, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Gordon Hanson & Chen Liu & Craig McIntosh, 2017. "The Rise and Fall of U.S. Low-Skilled Immigration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 83-168.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    16. Abramitzky, Ran & Ager, Philipp & Boustan, Leah & Cohen, Elior David & Hansen, Casper Worm, 2019. "The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure," CEPR Discussion Papers 14165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Martin Junge & Martin D. Munk & Panu Poutvaara, 2013. "International Migration of Couples," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2013018, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    18. Collins, William J. & Zimran, Ariell, 2019. "The economic assimilation of Irish Famine migrants to the United States," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    19. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2006. "Historical Perspectives on Racial Differences in Schooling in the United States," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 107-154, Elsevier.
    20. Mounir Karadja & Erik Prawitz, 2019. "Exit, Voice, and Political Change: Evidence from Swedish Mass Migration to the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1864-1925.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21384. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.