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Pearson Study on Southern White Migrants and the Political Landscape Featured in The Economist

April 4, 2023

The Economist

Thomas Pearson

Thomas Pearson

The flow of millions of Black Americans after the Civil War, known as the country’s “Great Migration,” transformed the culture and economies of the places where migrants arrived. It also gave politics in northern cities an enduring push left.

But this was not the only great migration. Between 1900 and 1940, roughly five million southern whites left former Confederate states and neighboring Oklahoma.

In a peer-reviewed study to be published later this year, Thomas Pearson, assistant professor of economics, and his co-authors used digitized census records to track these white migrants’ journeys. They found that this group was not just greater in number, but, as they spread their culture and attitudes, perhaps in political influence, too. 

Read more in The Economist article, “America’s other great migration.”

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