Migration Responses to Conflict: Evidence from the Border of the American Civil War

44 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2016 Last revised: 25 Mar 2022

See all articles by Shari Eli

Shari Eli

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Laura Salisbury

York University - Department of Economics

Allison Shertzer

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

The American Civil War fractured communities in border states where families who would eventually support the Union or the Confederacy lived together prior to the conflict. We study the subsequent migration choices of these Civil War veterans and their families using a unique longitudinal dataset covering enlistees from the border state of Kentucky. Nearly half of surviving Kentucky veterans moved to a new county between 1860 and 1880. There was no differential propensity to migrate according to side, but former Union soldiers were more likely to leave counties with greater Confederate sympathy for destinations that supported the North. Confederate veterans were more likely to move to counties that supported the Confederacy, or if they left the state, for the South or far West. We find no evidence of a positive economic return to these relocation decisions.

Suggested Citation

Eli, Shari and Salisbury, Laura and Shertzer, Allison, Migration Responses to Conflict: Evidence from the Border of the American Civil War (September 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22591, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2835849

Shari Eli (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G7
Canada

Laura Salisbury

York University - Department of Economics ( email )

4700 Keele St.
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Allison Shertzer

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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