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Understanding migration aversion using elicited counterfactual choice probabilities

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  • Koşar, Gizem
  • Ransom, Tyler
  • van der Klaauw, Wilbert

Abstract

This paper investigates how migration and location choice decisions depend on a large set of location characteristics, with particular focus on measuring the importance and nature of non-monetary costs of moving. We employ a stated-preference approach to elicit respondents’ choice probabilities for a set of hypothetical choice scenarios, using two waves from the NY Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations. Our stated probabilistic choice approach allows us to recover the distribution of individual-level preferences for location and mobility attributes without concerns about omitted variables and selection biases that hamper analyses based on observed mobility choices alone. We estimate substantial heterogeneity in the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for location characteristics and in moving costs, both across and within demographic groups. We find moving costs to be strongly associated with attachment to the current neighborhood and dwelling and to social networks. Our results indicate evidence of sorting into current locations based on preferences for location attributes as well as a strong negative association between respondents’ non-monetary moving costs and their moving expectations and actual mobility decisions.

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  • Koşar, Gizem & Ransom, Tyler & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2022. "Understanding migration aversion using elicited counterfactual choice probabilities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 231(1), pages 123-147.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:231:y:2022:i:1:p:123-147
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2020.07.056
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective probabilities; Stated choice methodology; Migration; Location choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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