Discussion paper

DP16739 The Other Great Migration: Southern Whites and the New Right

This paper shows how the migration of millions of Southern whites in the 20th century transformed the cultural and political landscape across America. Racially and religiously conservative, Southern white migrants created new electoral possibilities for a broad-based coalition with economic conservatives. With considerable geographic scope, these migrants hastened partisan realignment through the 1960s, helping to catalyze and sustain a New Right movement with national influence. More than just a novel voting bloc outside the South, they shaped institutions that reinforced racial sorting across space, shared ideology through religious organizations and popular media, and transmitted cultural norms to non-Southern populations. Together, our findings suggest that this other Great Migration may have forever changed the trajectory of American politics.


Ferrara, A, T Pearson and P Testa (eds) (2022), “DP16739 The Other Great Migration: Southern Whites and the New Right”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 16739. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16739-0