WorldCat Identities

Boustan, Leah Platt

Works: 44 works in 239 publications in 1 language and 3,395 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other
Classifications: E185.6, 305.896073
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Leah Platt Boustan
Competition in the promised land : black migrants in northern cities and labor markets by Leah Platt Boustan( )

20 editions published between 2016 and 2020 in English and held by 1,260 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

" From 1940 to 1970, nearly four million black migrants left the American rural South to settle in the industrial cities of the North and West. Competition in the Promised Land provides a comprehensive account of the long-lasting effects of the influx of black workers on labor markets and urban space in receiving areas. Traditionally, the Great Black Migration has been lauded as a path to general black economic progress. Leah Boustan challenges this view, arguing instead that the migration produced winners and losers within the black community. Boustan shows that migrants themselves gained tremendously, more than doubling their earnings by moving North. But these new arrivals competed with existing black workers, limiting black-white wage convergence in Northern labor markets and slowing black economic growth. Furthermore, many white households responded to the black migration by relocating to the suburbs. White flight was motivated not only by neighborhood racial change but also by the desire on the part of white residents to avoid local public services and fiscal obligations in increasingly diverse cities. Employing historical census data and state-of-the-art econometric methods, Competition in the Promised Land revises our understanding of the Great Black Migration and its role in the transformation of American society. "--
Human capital in history : the American record by Leah Platt Boustan( )

13 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 391 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Présentation de l'éditeur : "America's expansion to one of the richest nations in the world was partly due to a steady increase in labor productivity, which in turn depends upon the invention and deployment of new technologies and on investments in both human and physical capital. The accumulation of human capital-the knowledge and skill of workers-has featured prominently in American economic leadership over the past two centuries. Human Capital in History brings together contributions from leading researchers in economic history, labor economics, the economics of education, and related fields. Building on Claudia Goldin's landmark research on the labor history of the United States, the authors consider the roles of education and technology in contributing to American economic growth and well-being, the experience of women in the workforce, and how trends in marriage and family affected broader economic outcomes. The volume provides important new insights on the forces that affect the accumulation of human capital."
The effect of internal migration on local labor markets : American cities during the Great Depression by Leah Platt Boustan( )

10 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 84 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

During the Great Depression, as in the modern era, in-migrants were accused of taking jobs and crowding relief rolls. Unlike today, the targets of protest during the Depression were typically American citizens from other parts of the country, rather than the foreign born. Using aggregate data on internal migration flows matched to individual records from the 1940 Census, we analyze the impact of internal migration on various labor market outcomes. To control for the likely endogeneity bias that would arise if migrants were attracted to areas with high wages or plentiful work opportunities, we instrument for migration flows. The instrument predicts out-migration from local areas using extreme weather events and variations in the generosity of New Deal programs and assigns these flows to destinations based on geographic distance. As in many contemporary studies of immigration, our results indicate that residents of metropolitan areas with high in-migration rates did not experience a drop in hourly earnings. Instead, longer term residents of high in-migration areas experienced three types of economic dislocation. A significant number moved away. Many of those who stayed experienced either a drop in annual weeks of work and/or reductions in access to work relief jobs. During a Depression with extraordinary unemployment and an extensive amount of job sharing, these lost work opportunities were costly to existing residents
Demography and population loss from central cities, 1950-2000 by Leah Platt Boustan( )

8 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 81 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The share of metropolitan residents living in central cities declined dramatically from 1950 to 2000. We argue that cities would have lost even further ground if not for demographic trends such as renewed immigration, delayed child bearing, and a decline in the share of households headed by veterans. We provide causal estimates of the effect of children on residential location using the birth of twins. The effect of veteran status is identified from a discontinuity in the probability of military service during and after the mass mobilization for World War II. Our results suggest that these changes in demographic composition were strong enough to bolster city population but not to fully counteract socio-economic factors favoring suburban growth
School desegregation and urban change : evidence from city boundaries by Leah Platt Boustan( )

8 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 80 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

I examine changes in the city-suburban housing price gap in metropolitan areas with and without court-ordered desegregation plans over the 1970s, narrowing my comparison to housing units on opposite sides of district boundaries. The desegregation of public schools in central cities reduced the demand for urban residence, leading urban housing prices and rents to decline by six percent relative to neighboring suburbs. The aversion to integration was due both to changes in peer composition and to student reassignment to non-neighborhood schools. The associated reduction in the urban tax base imposed a fiscal externality on remaining urban residents
Income inequality and local government in the United States, 1970-2000 by Leah Platt Boustan( )

7 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 80 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The income distribution in many developed countries widened dramatically from 1970 to 2000. Scholars speculate that inequality contributes to a host of social ills by weakening the public sector. In contrast, we find that growing income inequality is associated with an expansion in revenues and expenditures on a wide range of services at the municipal and school district levels in the United States. These results are robust to a number of model specifications, including instrumental variables that deal with the endogeneity of local expenditures. Our results are inconsistent with models that predict heterogeneous societies provide lower levels of public goods
Escape from the city? : the role of race, income, and local public goods in post-war suburbanization by Leah Platt Boustan( )

9 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 79 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Suburbs allow for sorting across towns, increasing inequality in resources for education and other local public goods. This paper demonstrates that postwar suburbanization was, in part, a flight from the declining income and changing racial composition of city residents. I estimate the marginal willingness to pay for town-level demographics -- holding neighborhood composition constant -- by comparing prices for housing units on either side of city-suburban borders (1960-1980). A one standard deviation increase in residents' median income was associated with a 3.5 percent housing price increase. Homeowners value the fiscal subsidy associated with a higher tax base, and the fiscal isolation from social problems (for example, spending on police). In addition, white households avoided racially diverse jurisdictions, particularly those that experienced rioting or underwent school desegregation
White suburbanization and African-American home ownership, 1940-1980 by Leah Platt Boustan( )

7 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 78 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Between 1940 and 1980, the homeownership rate among metropolitan African-American households increased by 27 percentage points. Nearly three-quarters of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership in central cities was facilitated by the movement of white households to the suburban ring, which reduced the price of urban housing units conducive to owner-occupancy. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that 26 percent of the national increase in black homeownership over the period is explained by white suburbanization
The effect of natural disasters on economic activity in US counties : a century of data by Leah Platt Boustan( )

5 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 76 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

More than 100 natural disasters strike the United States every year, causing extensive fatalities and damages. We construct the universe of US federally designated natural disasters from 1920 to 2010. We find that severe disasters increase out-migration rates at the county level by 1.5 percentage points and lower housing prices/rents by 2.5-5.0 percent. The migration response to milder disasters is smaller but has been increasing over time. The economic response to disasters is most consistent with falling local productivity and labor demand. Disasters that convey more information about future disaster risk increase the pace of out-migration
Europe's tired, poor, huddled masses : self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration by Ran Abramitzky( )

10 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 74 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913) was among the largest migration episodes in history. Unlike today, the United States maintained an open border in this era. We compile a novel dataset of Norway-to-US migrants and estimate the return to migration while accounting for migrant selection. Our first method compares migrants to their brothers who remained in Norway; our second exploits the fact that, under primogeniture, older sons in land-owning families were less likely to migrate. We find that these migrants, unhindered by entry restrictions, were negatively selected from the sending population, and that the return to migration was relatively low
A nation of immigrants : assimilation and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration by Ran Abramitzky( )

8 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 74 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

During the Age of Mass Migration, the US maintained open borders and absorbed 30 million European immigrants. Using cross-sectional data, prior work on this era finds that immigrants held lower-paid occupations than natives upon first arrival but experienced rapid convergence. In newly-assembled panel data following immigrants over time, the initial immigrant earnings penalty disappears almost entirely, and immigrants experience occupational upgrading at the same rate as natives. Cross-sectional patterns are driven by declines over time in arrival cohort quality and the departure of negatively-selected return migrants. We show that these findings vary substantially across sending countries and explore potential mechanisms
The origins and persistence of black-white differences in women's labor force participation by Leah Platt Boustan( )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Black women were more likely than white women to participate in the labor force from 1870 until at least 1980 and to hold jobs in agriculture or manufacturing. Differences in observables cannot account for most of this racial gap in labor force participation for the 100 years after Emancipation. The unexplained racial gap may be due to racial differences in stigma associated with women's work, which Goldin (1977) suggested could be traced to cultural norms rooted in slavery. In both nineteenth and twentieth century data, we find evidence of inter-generation transmission of labor force participation from mother to daughter, which is consistent with the role of cultural norms
Urbanization in the United States, 1800-2000 by Leah Platt Boustan( )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This handbook chapter seeks to document the economic forces that led the US to become an urban nation over its two hundred year history. We show that the urban wage premium in the US was remarkably stable over the past two centuries, ranging between 15 and 40 percent, while the rent premium was more variable. The urban wage premium rose through the mid-nineteenth century as new manufacturing technologies enhanced urban productivity; then fell from 1880 to 1940 (especially through 1915) as investments in public health infrastructure improved the urban quality of life; and finally rose sharply after 1980, coinciding with the skill- (and apparently also urban-) biased technological change of the computer revolution. The second half of the chapter focuses instead on the location of workers and firms within metropolitan areas. Over the twentieth century, both households and employment have relocated from the central city to the suburban ring. The two forces emphasized in the monocentric city model, rising incomes and falling commuting costs, can explain much of this pattern, while urban crime and racial diversity also played a role
Racial residential segregation in American cities by Leah Platt Boustan( )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 71 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This chapter examines the causes and consequences of black-white residential segregation in the United States. Segregation can arise through black self-segregation, collective action to exclude blacks from white neighborhoods, or individual mobility of white households. Historically, whites used racially restrictive covenants and violence to exclude blacks from white areas. More recently, white departures from integrated neighborhoods is a more important factor. Many studies find that blacks who live in segregated metropolitan areas have lower educational attainment and lower earnings than their counterparts in more integrated areas. This difference appears to reflect the causal effect of segregation on economic outcomes. The association between segregated environments and minority disadvantage is driven in part by physical isolation of black neighborhoods from employment opportunities and in part by harmful social interactions within black neighborhoods, especially due to concentrated poverty. The chapter ends by reviewing potential policy solutions to residential segregation, which can be classified as place-based, people-based, or indirect solutions
Immigration in American economic history by Ran Abramitzky( )

6 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The United States has long been perceived as a land of opportunity for immigrants. Yet, both in the past and today, US natives have expressed concern that immigrants fail to integrate into US society and lower wages for existing workers. This paper reviews the literatures on historical and contemporary migrant flows, yielding new insights on migrant selection, assimilation of immigrants into US economy and society, and the effect of immigration on the labor market
Racial differences in health in long-run perspective : a brief introduction by Leah Platt Boustan( )

5 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The United States has a long and ongoing history of racial inequality. This paper surveys the literature on one aspect of that history: long-run trends in racial differences in health. We focus on standard measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy but also consider the available data on specific diseases and chronic conditions. Our basic conclusion is that large improvements have occurred in the average health of African Americans over the twentieth century, both in absolute terms and relative to Whites. These health advancements occurred steadily throughout the twentieth century, with the peak period of improvement between 1920 and 1945 (for infant mortality) and 1940 and 1960 (for overall life expectancy). We attribute the improvements to successful efforts to fight specific diseases, improvements in public health, and narrowing racial gaps in education and income. Although racial inequality in health outcomes has fallen in the long term, significant disparities remain today
Cultural Assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration by Ran Abramitzky( )

6 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 63 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Using two million census records, we document cultural assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration, a formative period in US history. Immigrants chose less foreign names for children as they spent more time in the US, eventually closing half of the gap with natives. Many immigrants also intermarried and learned English. Name-based assimilation was similar by literacy status, and faster for immigrants who were more culturally distant from natives. Cultural assimilation affected the next generation. Within households, brothers with more foreign names completed fewer years of schooling, faced higher unemployment, earned less and were more likely to marry foreign-born spouses
To the New World and Back Again : Return Migrants in the Age of Mass Migration by Ran Abramitzky( )

7 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 60 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We compile large datasets from Norwegian and US historical censuses to study return migration during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913). Return migrants were somewhat negatively selected from the migrant pool: Norwegian immigrants who returned to Norway held slightly lower-paid occupations than Norwegian immigrants who stayed in the US, both before and after moving to the US. Upon returning to Norway, return migrants held higher-paid occupations than Norwegians who never moved, despite hailing from poorer backgrounds. They were also more likely to get married after return. These patterns suggest that despite being negatively selected, return migrants were able to accumulate savings and improve their economic circumstances once they returned home
Was postwar suburbanization "white flight"? : evidence from the black migration by Leah Platt Boustan( )

10 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 54 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Residential segregation across jurisdiction lines generates disparities in public services and education by race. The distinctive American pattern -- in which blacks live in the center city and whites in the suburban ring -- was enhanced by black migration from the rural South from 1940-1970. I show that urban whites responded to this black influx by relocating to the suburbs and rule out the indirect effect on urban housing prices as a cause. Black migrants may have been attracted to areas already undergoing suburbanization. I create an instrument for changes in urban diversity that predicts black migrant flows from southern states and assigns these flows to northern cities according to established settlement patterns. The best causal estimates imply that "white flight" explains around 20 percent of suburban growth in the postwar period
Competition in the promised land : black migration and racial wage convergence in the North, 1940-1970 by Leah Platt Boustan( )

9 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 53 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the mid-twentieth century, relative black wage growth in the North lagged behind the Jim Crow South. Inter-regional migration may explain this trend. Four million black southerners moved North from 1940 to 1970, more than doubling the northern black population. Black migrants will exert more competitive pressure on black wages if blacks and whites are imperfect substitutes. I use variation in the relative black-white migrant flows across skill groups to estimate the elasticity of substitution by race in the northern economy. I then calculate a counterfactual rate of black-white wage convergence in the North in the absence of southern migration. Migration slowed the pace of northern convergence by 50 percent, more than accounting for the regional gap. Ongoing migration appears to have been an impediment to black economic assimilation in the urban North
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Alternative Names
Boustan, Leah

Leah Boustan

Leah Platt Boustan economisch historicus

Leah Platt Boustan Economist (University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) -> Department of Economics)

Platt-Boustan, Leah

Platt, Leah

ליאה בוסטן

English (163)