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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Todd Sorensen

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Working Papers

October 2007Migration Creation, Diversion, and Retention: New Deal Grants and Migration: 1935-1940
with Price V. Fishback, Samuel Allen, Shawn E. Kantor: w13491
During the 1930s the federal government embarked upon an ambitious series of grant programs designed to counteract the Great Depression. The amounts distributed varied widely across the country and potentially contributed to population shifts. We estimate an aggregate discrete choice model, in which household heads choose among 466 economic subregions. The structural model allows us to decompose the effects of program spending on migration into three categories: the effect of spending on keeping households in their origin (retention), the effect of pulling non-migrants out of their origin (creation), and the effect of causing migrants to substitute away from an alternative destination (diversion). An additional dollar of public works and relief spending increased net migration into an are...

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