Race and Destination Choice: Factors Driving Reverse Migration

Paul Jacobs, Utah State University

What factors predict destination choice for black migrants leaving the Rust Belt? My research looks to evaluate the role of social capital, a factor that leads to divergent migration selection between racial and ethnic groups, against educational attainment, a variable which is usually associated with migration convergence. To address my research question, I will rely on 5% census Integrated Public Use Microdata Samples (IPUMS) for 1980, 1990 and 2000, as well as 1970 for contextual starting-point data. The migration odds for blacks from the urban industrial North to the South remain higher than for whites for each year. The inclusion of educational attainment increases the likelihood of black migration to the South, contrary to literature asserting migration convergence should occur. The implications suggest that changing macroeconomic factors increase the importance of social capital for migration decisions. Indicators of social capital can be expected to facilitate migration decisions more in the service economy.

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Presented in Poster Session 8