The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jennifer Withrow



Jennifer Withrow, a Ph.D. candidate in the economics department, received a $5,000 CRF Dissertation fellowship to support her work on the farm-to-urban migration of women during the U.S. farm crisis of the 1920s and 1930s. Her dissertation addresses the mechanisms that drove female rural-to-urban migration during the early twentieth century. These mechanisms serve as important examples for the way family decision-making can influence gendered migration streams during economic crisis 

Under the mentorship of her advisor, Dr. Carol Heim, Jennifer has created a novel longitudinal dataset of women linked across the 1920 to 1940 censuses, allowing her to observe women before and after they migrated. Over the next year, Jennifer will visit multiple archives to gather information collected from these early twentieth-century women in the forms of surveys and oral histories to better understand the role of gender and the family in this migration.