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Costa, D., L. Kahn, M., Roudiez, C., Wilson, S. (2016). Persistent Social Networks: Civil War Veterans who Fought Together Co-Locate in Later Life. NBER Working Paper No. 22397

At the end of the U.S Civil War, veterans had to choose whether to return to their prewar communities or move to new areas. The late 19th Century was a time of sharp urban growth as workers sought out the economic opportunities offered by cities. By estimating discrete choice migration models, we quantify the tradeoffs that veterans faced. Veterans were less likely to move far from their origin and avoided urban immigrant areas and high mortality risk areas. They also avoided areas that opposed the Civil War. Veterans were more likely to move to a neighborhood or a county where men from their same war company lived. This co-location evidence highlights the existence of persistent social networks. Such social networks had long-term consequences: veterans living close to war time friends enjoyed a longer life.

Authors

Costa, Dora

Dora Costa is Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of California Los Angeles.

Kahn, Matthew

Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining the UCLA faculty in January 2007, he taught at Columbia and the...

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