Migration Networks and Location Decisions: Evidence from U.S. Mass Migration

116 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2019

See all articles by Bryan A. Stuart

Bryan A. Stuart

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Evan J. Taylor

University of Chicago

Abstract

This paper studies how birth town migration networks affected long-run location decisions during historical U.S. migration episodes. We develop a new method to estimate the strength of migration networks for each receiving and sending location. Our estimates imply that when one randomly chosen African American moved from a Southern birth town to a destination county, then 1.9 additional black migrants made the same move on average. For white migrants from the Great Plains, the average is only 0.4. Networks were particularly important in connecting black migrants with attractive employment opportunities and played a larger role in less costly moves.

Keywords: migration networks, location decisions, social interactions, Great Migration

JEL Classification: J61, N32, O15, R23, Z13

Suggested Citation

Stuart, Bryan A. and Taylor, Evan J., Migration Networks and Location Decisions: Evidence from U.S. Mass Migration. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12709, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3483947

Bryan A. Stuart (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

United States

Evan J. Taylor

University of Chicago

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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