Demonstrating Their Freedom: The Post-Emancipation Migration of Black Americans

Research in Economic History, Vol. 10, pp. 213-239, 1986

14 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Richard K. Vedder

Richard K. Vedder

Ohio University - Department of Economics

Lowell Galloway

Ohio University

Philip E. Graves

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Robert L. Sexton

Pepperdine University - Economics Department

Date Written: 1986

Abstract

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.

Keywords: migration, black migration, mobility, economic incentives to move, regional affinity

JEL Classification: J01, J11, J15, J61, J62, R11, R23

Suggested Citation

Vedder, Richard K. and Galloway, Lowell and Graves, Philip E. and Sexton, Robert L., Demonstrating Their Freedom: The Post-Emancipation Migration of Black Americans (1986). Research in Economic History, Vol. 10, pp. 213-239, 1986. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920501

Richard K. Vedder

Ohio University - Department of Economics ( email )

Athens, OH 45701-2979
United States
740-593-0142 (Phone)
740-593-0097 (Fax)

Lowell Galloway

Ohio University ( email )

Athens, OH 45701-2979
United States

Philip E. Graves (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

Robert L. Sexton

Pepperdine University - Economics Department ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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