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

47 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2015

See all articles by William J. Collins

William J. Collins

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; The Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marianne Wanamaker

University of Tennessee, Knoxville; IZA

Date Written: July 2015

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

Collins, William J. and Wanamaker, Marianne, The Great Migration in Black and White: New Evidence on the Selection and Sorting of Southern Migrants (July 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21384. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2633340

William J. Collins (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
615-322-3428 (Phone)

The Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marianne Wanamaker

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

IZA ( email )

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