“From Immigrants to Americans: Race, Status and Assimilation during the Great Migration,” Vicky Fouka, Stanford University

Event time: 
Friday, February 9, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS077 ), A002 See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: We study how the inflow of 1.5 million of African Americans to the US North between 1915 and 1930 – a historical episode termed the first Great Migration – affected the assimilation of previously arrived European immigrants. We construct a shift-share instrument by interacting 1900 settlements of southern-born blacks living in northern cities with out-migration from each southern state after 1910. Measuring assimilation in several ways, including naturalization rates, intermarriage trends and occupational patterns, we provide evidence that the arrival of African Americans favored the Americanization of European immigrants. We explore several mechanisms through which the rising numbers of an out-group might have favored the economic and cultural integration of previous outsiders, including competition between minorities, the effect of racial threat on lowering barriers to immigrant assimilation and political economy channels.

Vicky Fouka is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. Her research examines how identity and attitudes are shaped by state policies and history and how they themselves affect economic and political outcomes. She is particularly interested in the dynamics of assimilation, with a focus on immigrant groups’ responses to assimilationist policies and to patterns of native discrimination. She examines these issues using economic theory and statistical techniques applied on both modern and historical data. She received her PhD in Economics from Pompeu Fabra University in 2015.

The American and Comparative Political Behavior Workshop is focused on political behavior broadly considered and invites speakers from a range of social science fields. Lunch will be served.

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