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Job Opportunities, Amenities, and Variable Distance-Deterrence Elasticities: An Empirical Model of Inter-Municipal Migration in Belgium

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  • Ludo Peeters

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates inter-municipal migration flows in Belgium using a Poisson gravity model. Besides distance, the model also includes municipal-specific factors as explanatory variables. The model is tested using aggregate, cross-sectional, data on migrations between the municipalities of the Belgian province of Limburg, over the period 1998-2003. The model assumes heterogeneity of the distance-deterrence effect. The model also accounts for unobserved origin/destination characteristics. To overcome the problem of under-determinacy, we use the method of Generalized Cross-Entropy estimation. A number of major findings stand out. Firstly, we find evidence of a "U-shaped" relationship between the distance-deterrence elasticity and distance, where the distance elasticity is smaller for short-distance moves. Secondly, distance between origin and destination reinforces (attenuates) the pull effect of local employment opportunities (amenities). This finding may indicating a shift in the composition of migration flows from residential migration to labor migration as distance increases. Finally, the spatial distribution of the net pull effects of unobserved factors seem to coincide with proximity to major roads and railway stations.

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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa06/papers/585.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa06p585.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p585

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    1. Fratianni, Michele & Kang, Heejoon, 2006. "Heterogeneous distance-elasticities in trade gravity models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 68-71, January.
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    7. Carla Sa & Raymond Florax & Piet Rietveld, 2004. "Determinants of the Regional Demand for Higher Education in The Netherlands: A Gravity Model Approach," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 375-392.
    8. Wouter Vermeulen & Eugene Verkade, 2003. "Interregional migration in The Netherlands: an aggregate analysis," ERSA conference papers, European Regional Science Association ersa03p124, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Sergio Rey & Brett Montouri, 1999. "US Regional Income Convergence: A Spatial Econometric Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-156.
    10. Uri Simonsohn, 2006. "New Yorkers Commute More Everywhere: Contrast Effects in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-9, February.
    11. J Shen, 1999. "Modelling regional migration in China: estimation and decomposition," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(7), pages 1223-1238, July.
    12. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
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