NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jason Long

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Working Papers

March 2016Refugees From Dust and Shrinking Land: Tracking the Dust Bowl Migrants
with Henry E. Siu: w22108
We construct longitudinal data from the U.S. Census records to study migration patterns of those affected by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Our focus is on the famous "Okie" migration of the Southern Great Plains. We find that migration rates were much higher in the Dust Bowl than elsewhere in the U.S. This difference is due to the fact that individuals who were typically unlikely to move (e.g., those with young children, those living in their birth state) were equally likely to move in the Dust Bowl. While this result of elevated mobility conforms to long-standing perceptions of the Dust Bowl, our other principal findings contradict conventional wisdom. First, relative to other occupations, farmers in the Dust Bowl were the least likely to move; this relationship between mobility and occupat...
April 2005A Tale of Two Labor Markets: Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Britain and the U.S. Since 1850
with Joseph Ferrie: w11253
The U.S. both tolerates more inequality than Europe and believes its economic mobility is greater than Europe's. These attitudes and beliefs help account for differences in the magnitude of redistribution through taxation and social welfare spending. In fact, the U.S. and Europe had roughly equal rates of inter-generational occupational mobility in the late twentieth century. We extend this comparison into the late nineteenth century using longitudinal data on 23,000 nationally-representative British and U.S. fathers and sons. The U.S. was substantially more mobile then Britain through 1900, so in the experience of those who created the U.S. welfare state in the 1930s, the U.S. had indeed been "exceptional." The margin by which U.S. mobility exceeded British mobility was erased by the 1950...

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