This paper studies how birth town migration networks affected long-run location decisions during historical US 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.
Stuart, Bryan A., and Evan J. Taylor.
"Migration Networks and Location Decisions: Evidence from US Mass Migration."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-
Regional and Urban History: U.S.; Canada: 1913-
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification