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The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990

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  • Joshua L. Rosenbloom
  • William A. Sundstrom

Abstract

We examine evidence on trends in interstate migration over the past 150 years, using data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series of the U.S. Census (IPUMS). Two measures of migration are calculated. The first considers an individual to have moved if she is residing in a state different from her state of birth. The second considers a family to have moved if it is residing in a state different from the state of birth of one of its young children. The latter measure allows us estimate the timing of moves more accurately. Our results suggest that overall migration propensities have followed a U-shaped trend since 1850, falling until around 1900 and then rising until around 1970. We examine variation in the propensity to make an interstate move by age, sex, race, nativity, region of origin, family structure, and education. Counterfactuals based on probit estimates of the propensity to migrate suggest that the rise in migration of families since 1900 is largely attributable to increased educational attainment. The decline of interstate migration in the late nineteenth century remains to be explained.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9857.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Publication status: published as Field, Alexander J. (ed.) Research in economic history. Volume 22. Amsterdam and San Diego: Elsevier, JAI, 2004.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9857

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  9. Price V. Fishback & William C. Horrace & Shawn Kantor, 2001. "Do Federal Programs Affect Internal Migration? The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Mobility During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Treyz, George I, et al, 1993. "The Dynamics of U.S. Internal Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 209-14, May.
  15. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "One Market or Many? Labor Market Integration in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 85-107, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Woong Lee, 2009. "Private Deception and the Rise of Public Employment Offices in the United States, 1890-1930," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 155-181 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Dennett, Julia, 2013. "Are American homeowners locked into their houses? The impact of housing market conditions on state-to-state migration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 322-337.
  3. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Can Redistributive State Taxes Reduce Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 490, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Hawley, Zackary B. & Rork, Jonathan C., 2013. "The case of state funded higher education scholarship plans and interstate brain drain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 242-249.
  5. Jeffrey Thompson, 2011. "Costly Migration and the Incidence of State and Local Taxes," Working Papers wp251, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  6. Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert, 2013. "Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States: Description and Correlates," IZA Discussion Papers 7431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rubén Hernández-Murillo & Lesli S. Ott & Michael T. Owyang & Denise Whalen, 2011. "Patterns of Interstate Migration in the United States from the Survey of Income and Program Participation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6984, Mathematica Policy Research.

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