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Competition in the Promised LandBlack Migrants in Northern Cities and Labor Markets$
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Leah Platt Boustan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150871

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150871.001.0001

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Who Left the South and How Did They Fare?

Who Left the South and How Did They Fare?

(p.39) Chapter 2 Who Left the South and How Did They Fare?
Competition in the Promised Land

Leah Platt Boustan

Princeton University Press

This chapter shows that, for the southern blacks, migration is a route to economic advancement. To do so, the chapter first investigates the family background of black migrants leaving the South, revealing that young migrants living in the North in 1940 were drawn from households at both the top and the bottom of the occupational distribution. After arriving at their destinations, black migrants did not suffer an earnings penalty in the northern economy, but neither did they out-earn northern-born blacks as some have suggested. Rather, southern migrants earned just as much as northern-born blacks upon arrival in the North and experienced a similar pace of earnings growth over time.

Keywords:   economic advancement, family backgrounds, young migrants, earnings penalty, earnings growth, white-collar workers

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