Labor Reallocation over the Business Cycle: New Evidence from Internal Migration
AbstractThis paper establishes the cyclical properties of a novel measure of worker reallocation: long-distance migration rates within the US. This internal migration offers a bird’s eye view of worker reallocation in the economy as long-distance migrants often change jobs or employment status, altering the spatial allocation of labor. Using historical reports of the Current Population Survey (CPS), we examine gross migration patterns during the entire postwar era, a period that spans ten recessions over more than fifty years. We obtain additional evidence on inter-state and inter-metropolitan population flows during the past thirty years from statistics compiled by the Internal Revenue Service. We find that internal migration within the US is strongly procyclical in both sources. Even after accounting for variation in relative local economic conditions, migration is lower during downturns in the national economy. Using individual-level CPS data, we find that migration is procyclical for most major demographic and labor force groups, although it is strongest for younger workers. Our findings suggest that cyclical fluctuations in internal migration are driven by economy-wide changes in the net cost to worker reallocation with a major role for the job finding rate of young workers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2766.
Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2011, 29 (4). 697 - 739
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Other versions of this item:
- Raven E. Saks & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Labor Reallocation over the Business Cycle: New Evidence from Internal Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697 - 739.
- Raven E. Saks & Abigail Wozniak, 2007. "Labor reallocation over the business cycle: new evidence from internal migration," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-05-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2007-05-12 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2007-05-12 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MIG-2007-05-12 (Economics of Human Migration)
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