The Effects of the Great Migration on Urban Renewal

44 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ying Shi

Ying Shi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Daniel A. Hartley

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Aastha Rajan

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date Written: February 26, 2021

Abstract

The Great Migration significantly increased the number of African Americans 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 the estimated number of displaced families. 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: urban renewal, great migration

JEL Classification: N92, R31, R58, J15

Suggested Citation

Shi, Ying and Hartley, Daniel A. and Mazumder, Bhashkar and Rajan, Aastha, The Effects of the Great Migration on Urban Renewal (February 26, 2021). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. 2021-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3793944

Ying Shi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Daniel A. Hartley

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danielaaronhartley.com

Bhashkar Mazumder (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Aastha Rajan

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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