Demonstrating Their Freedom: The Post-Emancipation Migration of Black Americans
Richard K. Vedder
Ohio University - Department of Economics
Philip E. Graves
University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics
Robert L. Sexton
Pepperdine University - Economics Department
Research in Economic History, Vol. 10, pp. 213-239, 1986
Why did newly freed slaves and their descendants wait a half century before migrating in large numbers to the superior economic opportunities in the North? Census lifetime migration data on both movers and stayers are examined intertemporally for both whites and blacks. Regression analysis reveals that before 1920 Southern blacks has a very strong affinity for the "Southern way of life." We hypothesize that changes in the relationship between actual and expected economic welfare over time lead to a decline in that affinity. Aside from regional affinity, black migrants responded strongly to economic stimuli, including wages, job opportunities, and information costs.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: migration, black migration, mobility, economic incentives to move, regional affinity
JEL Classification: J01, J11, J15, J61, J62, R11, R23Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 31, 2011
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