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Migration and the Tiebout-Tullock Hypothesis


  • Richard J. Cebula


This study investigates, using state-level data for the period 2000-2005, the Tiebout hypothesis (as extended by Tullock) of "voting with one's feet." This analysis differs from previous related studies not only in its adoption of more current migration and other data but also in other ways. First, unlike most earlier related studies, it includes a separate measure of the overall cost of living; second, it examines per pupil (rather than per capita) outlays on public primary and secondary education; and third, in addition to property taxes, it also focuses on per capita state income tax burdens. Inclusion of the last of these variables in the analysis is based on studies that have found the existence of a state income tax to have influenced migration patterns and other studies that have found higher state income tax levels to have resulted in reduced per capita income growth over time. Moreover, including both property tax burdens and income tax burdens broadens the scope of the hypothesis. Strong empirical support for the Tiebout-Tullock hypothesis (as interpreted here) is obtained for the study period. Copyright © 2009 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

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  • Richard J. Cebula, 2009. "Migration and the Tiebout-Tullock Hypothesis," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 541-551, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:68:y:2009:i:2:p:541-551

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Randall G. Holcombe & Donald J. Lacombe, 2004. "The Effect of State Income Taxation on Per Capita Income Growth," Public Finance Review, , vol. 32(3), pages 292-312, May.
    3. Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood & Haizheng Li, 2001. "A Conditional Logit Approach to U.S. State-to-State Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 337-360.
    4. Cebula, Richard J. & Alexander, Gigi M., 2006. "Determinants of Net Interstate Migration, 2000-2004," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 36(2).
    5. Lewis R. Gale & Will Carrington Heath, 2000. "Elderly Internal Migration in the United States Revisited," Public Finance Review, , vol. 28(2), pages 153-170, March.
    6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    7. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2006. "An SVAR Model of Fluctuations in U.S. Migration Flows and State Labor Market Dynamics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 958-980, April.
    8. Leonard Carlson & Richard Cebula, 1981. "Voting with one's feet: A brief note on the case of public welfare and the American Indian," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 321-325, January.
    9. Conway, Karen Smith & Houtenville, Andrew J, 1998. "Do the Elderly "Vote with Their Feet"?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(4), pages 663-685, December.
    10. Ira Saltz, 1998. "State income tax policy and geographic labour force mobility in the United States," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(10), pages 599-601.
    11. Cebula, Richard, 1978. "The Determinants of Human Migration," MPRA Paper 58401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
    2. Cebula, Richard J., 2002. "Migration and the Tiebout-Tullock Hypothesis Revisited," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 32(1), pages 87-96, Winter/Sp.
    3. Alex Michalos, 1996. "Migration and the quality of life: A review essay," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 121-166, January.
    4. Farnham, Martin & Sevak, Purvi, 2006. "State fiscal institutions and empty-nest migration: Are Tiebout voters hobbled?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 407-427, February.
    5. Shan, Hui, 2010. "Property taxes and elderly mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 194-205, March.
    6. Susan Steiner, 2005. "Decentralisation and Poverty Reduction: A Conceptual Framework for the Economic Impact," GIGA Working Paper Series 03, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

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