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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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Keywords: Housing; house prices; labor reallocation;

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References

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  1. Davis, Morris A. & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2007. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2595-2620, November.
  2. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2006. "Understanding Gross Workers Flows Across U.S. States," 2006 Meeting Papers 459, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2010. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners' mobility," Working Papers 682, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Molloy, Raven & Smith, Christopher L. & Wozniak, Abigail, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 2005. "Fixed term employment contracts in an equilibrium search model," Working Paper Series WP-05-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. David Albouy, 2009. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 635-667, 08.
  12. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John, 2012. "Labor market flows in the cross section and over time," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-18.
  13. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2011. "Housing Busts and Household Mobility: An Update," NBER Working Papers 17405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 382, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2006. "Why Has House Price Dispersion Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 12538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
  21. Greg Kaplan & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Understanding the long-run decline in interstate migration," Working Papers 697, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Fernando Alvarez & Robert Shimer, 2008. "Search and Rest Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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