In this paper, we show that the migrations of millions of Americans from the Central Plains to California during the 1930s continues to have a demonstrable effect on political outcomes and behavior today, even after accounting for other relevant geographic and demographic factors. After demonstrating this pattern at the electoral level, we leverage a decade's worth of survey data and show that Hispanics living in areas with large Okie migrations in the 1930s are much more likely to have conservative social values and, importantly, to vote and identify as Republicans. Put together, these results suggest that the historical legacies of migration can have a strong and sustained impact even after nearly a century after the fact.
Journal of Historical Political Economy, Volume 1, Issue 4 Special Issue - Historical Persistence, Part I: Articles Overview
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