The onset of World War I spurred the "Great Migration" of African
Americans from the US South, arguably the most important internal
migration in US history. We create a new panel dataset of more than
5,000 men matched from the 1910 to 1930 census manuscripts to
address three interconnected questions: To what extent was there
selection into migration? How large were the migrants' gains?
Did migration narrow the racial gap in economic status? We find
evidence of positive selection, but the migrants' gains were large.
A substantial amount of black-white convergence in this period is
attributable to migration.
"Selection and Economic Gains in the Great Migration of African Americans: New Evidence from Linked Census Data." 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