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The effects of the Great Migration on urban renewal

Ying Shi (), Daniel Hartley (), Bhash Mazumder and Aastha Rajan

Journal of Public Economics, 2022, vol. 209, issue C

Abstract: The Great Migration significantly increased the number of African American people moving to northern and western cities beginning in the first half of the twentieth century. We show that their arrival shaped “slum clearance” and urban redevelopment efforts in receiving cities. To estimate the effect of migrants, we instrument for Black population changes using a shift-share instrument that interacts historical migration patterns with local economic shocks that predict Black out-migration from the South. We find that local governments responded by undertaking more urban renewal projects that aimed to redevelop and rehabilitate “blighted” areas. More Black migrants also led to an increase in family displacement. This underscores the contribution of spatial policies such as urban renewal towards understanding the long-term consequences of the Great Migration on central cities, and Black neighborhoods and individuals.

Keywords: Great Migration; Urban renewal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:209:y:2022:i:c:s0047272722000494

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2022.104647

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