Monday, March 02, 2015

A Great Migration Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

While migration leads to greater wealth, the destination may shorten your life.

Theme: People develop, not places

Subject Article: "African Americans who fled the South during Great Migration led shorter lives, study finds: Scholars find blacks' health suffered, despite economic benefits of move."

Other Links: 1. "Why aren’t blacks migrating like they used to?"
2. "How Oregon's Second Largest City Vanished in a Day: A 1948 flood washed away the WWII housing project Vanport—but its history still informs Portland's diversity."
3. "Retro Indy: Indiana Avenue."
4. "Will Boston’s crazy snowfalls make people leave? An endless winter has everyone threatening to flee for good. Who might really go—and how it could shift the population."

Postscript: Hinting at my next post, from "The Next Great Migration":

Certainly not everyone can just pick up and go, nor is expatriation a panacea for all that afflicts black America. But at a time when middle-class blacks remain unemployed at twice the rate of whites, and black college graduates have the same chance of being hired as high school-educated whites, the economic case for staying put is not airtight.

One solution would be to increase applications by black students to foreign undergraduate and graduate programs. Years ago, I worked briefly as a consultant for Sciences-Po, one of Paris’s famed grandes √©coles, encouraging American high school students and their parents to pursue an English-language education abroad. Sciences-Po was an attractive offer for anyone — a world-class degree and alumni network for less than $2,500 a year. It should have been particularly appealing to blacks since, as Bloomberg recently reported, blacks rely far more on student loans and are less likely to pay off debts after graduation. Studying abroad would sharply decrease this burden (my alma mater, Georgetown, now costs a staggering $65,000 a year), and also provide an entree into expansive new job — and marriage — markets, too.

Yet it’s a strategy that is severely underused. I don’t think I convinced a single black student to attend Sciences-Po. And even though 15 percent of American postsecondary students are black, we account for only about 5 percent of those who study abroad. This is a shame.

Emphasis added. Such a lack of geographic mobility portends economic exclusion. I see a strong link between African-American poverty and neighborhood isolation. Inbreeding homophily, as observed in immigrant groups, leads to a lack of labor market knowledge. The ultimate result is structural under-employment and chronic inequality.

No comments: