The Other Great Migration: Southern Whites and the New Right

Samuel Bazzi, Andreas Ferrara, Martin Fiszbein, Thomas Pearson, Patrick A. Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article shows how the migration of millions of Southern whites in the twentieth century shaped the cultural and political landscape across the United States. Racially and religiously conservative, Southern white migrants created new electoral possibilities for a broad-based coalition with economic conservatives. With their considerable geographic scope, these migrants hastened partisan realignment and helped catalyze and bolster a New Right movement with national influence over the long run. More than just augmenting the conservative voter base outside the South, they influenced non-Southerners by building evangelical churches, diffusing right-wing media, and mixing through intermarriage and residential integration. Tracking non-Southern households, we show that exposure to Southern white neighbors increased adoption of conservative religious norms. Overall, our findings suggest that this mass migration blurred the North-South cultural divide and reshaped the geography of conservatism in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1577-1647
Number of pages71
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Volume138
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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