Leah Platt Boustan




Office: Bunche Hall 9262
Phone: (310) 794-4263
Fax: (310) 825-9528

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Research Interests

Internal migration; residential segregation; growth of American cities; suburbanization; race and labor markets.


My research interests are at the intersection of economic history and modern labor and urban economics. World War II and the subsequent decades profoundly shaped the world we live in today. Much of what labor economists study today has its roots in this period, from the baby boom to the rise of female labor force participation to the growth of the welfare state.

One strand of my research focuses on the effect of black migration from the rural South from 1940 onward on receiving areas in the North. I document a white flight response from central cities, and argue that, in part, relocating to the suburbs reflected a desire for political distance from the policies and school districts in diverse central cities.

I am also working on projects concerning the economic cost of residential segregation, internal migration in the United States in the 1930s, and the link between education and economic growth.