Understanding the long-run decline in interstate migration
AbstractWe analyze the secular decline in interstate migration in the United States between 1991 and 2011. Gross flows of people across states are about 10 times larger than net flows, yet have declined by around 50 percent over the past 20 years. We show that micro data rule out many popular explanations for this decline, including aging of the population, the rise of two-earner households, other compositional changes, regional changes, and the rise in real incomes. We argue instead that the fall in migration is due to a decline in the geographic specificity of occupations and an increase in workers’ ability to learn about other locations before moving there, through both information technology and inexpensive travel. We develop a theory to formalize these ideas and show that a plausibly calibrated version is consistent with cross-sectional and time-series patterns of interstate migration, occupations, and incomes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 697.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Greg Kaplan & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Understanding the Long-Run Decline in Interstate Migration," NBER Working Papers 18507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2012-04-17 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-MIG-2012-04-17 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-URE-2012-04-17 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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