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Gross Migration, Housing and Urban Population Dynamics

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  • Davis, Morris A.

    ()
    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Fisher, Jonas D. M.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Veracierto, Marcelo

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Abstract

Cities experience significant, near random walk productivity shocks, yet population is slow to adjust. In practise local population changes are dominated by variation in net migration, and we argue that understanding gross migration is essential to quantify how net migration may slow population adjustments. Housing is also a natural candidate for slowing population adjustments because it is difficult to move, costly to build quickly, and a large durable stock makes a city attractive to potential migrants. We quantify the influence of migration and housing on urban population dynamics using a dynamic general equilibrium model of cities which incorporates a new theory of gross migration motivated by patterns we uncover in a panel of US cities. After assigning values to the model's parameters with an exactly identified procedure, we demonstrate that its implied dynamic responses to productivity shocks of population, gross migration, employment, wages, home construction and house prices strongly resemble those we estimate with our panel data. The empirically validated model implies that costs of attracting workers to cities drive slow population adjustments. Housing plays a very limited role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-2013-19.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 02 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2013-19

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Related research

Keywords: Housing; house prices; labor reallocation;

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References

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  1. Daniele Coen-Pirani, . "Understanding Gross Workers Flows Across U.S. States," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E68, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-96, Summer.
  3. Greg Kaplan & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Understanding the Long-Run Decline in Interstate Migration," NBER Working Papers 18507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  5. Steven J. Davis & Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2011. "Labor Market Flows in the Cross Section and Over Time," NBER Working Papers 17294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  7. Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2006. "Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in an Equilibrium Search Model," NBER Working Papers 12791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Morris A. Davis & Jonas D. M. Fisher & Toni M. Whited, 2010. "Macroeconomic implications of agglomeration," Working Paper Series WP-2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  12. David Y. Albouy, 2008. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 13995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fernando Alvarez & Robert Shimer, 2008. "Search and Rest Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam, 2012. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners’ mobility," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Feb, pages 1-17.
  15. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  16. Fatih Karahan & Serena Rhee, 2013. "Geographical reallocation and unemployment during the Great Recession: the role of the housing bust," Staff Reports 605, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2012. "Housing busts and household mobility: an update," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Nov, pages 1-15.
  19. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," NBER Working Papers 12167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, . "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Why Has House Price Dispersion Gone Up?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1567-1606.
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
  23. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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