IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The demise of California reconsidered: interstate migration over the economic cycle


  • Stuart A. Gabriel
  • Joe P. Mattey
  • William L. Wascher


Recent years have witnessed widespread media attention and policy debate regarding the causes and consequences of population flight from California. While some analysts' reports link the reversal in California migration flows to cyclical swings in the state economy, other commentaries focus on alleged deterioration in California amenities and quality of life. This paper employs a logistic migration model to evaluate the role of economic and other location-specific effects in the determination of California domestic migration flows. The model is estimated using data for each of the 50 U.S. states for the 1981-1992 period. Various simulations of the model for the California case are then undertaken to indicate the effect of evolution in economic conditions and other location-specific effects on California net migration. A baseline simulation predicated on a reversion in the state's unemployment rate, wage, and house price differentials to average levels observed in the 1981-1992 period suggests a substantial slowing in California out-migration. Further, deterioration in California location-specific fixed effects, as estimated from the otherwise unexplained portion of the acceleration of out-migration in the more recent 1989-1992 period, serves to dampen the simulated improvement in California net migration only modestly. Overall, our research findings suggest that a large part of the unprecedented and sizable domestic out-migration from California is temporary, to be largely reversed in the context of a rebound in the California economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey & William L. Wascher, 1995. "The demise of California reconsidered: interstate migration over the economic cycle," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 30-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1995:p:30-48:n:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Labadie, Pamela, 1989. "Stochastic inflation and the equity premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 277-298, September.
    3. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1991. "Implications of Security Market Data for Models of Dynamic Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 225-262, April.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    5. Giovannini, Alberto & Labadie, Pamela, 1991. "Asset Prices and Interest Rates in Cash-in-Advance Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1215-1251, December.
    6. Backus, David K. & Gregory, Allan W. & Zin, Stanley E., 1989. "Risk premiums in the term structure : Evidence from artificial economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 371-399, November.
    7. Evans, Martin, 1991. "Discovering the Link between Inflation Rates and Inflation Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 169-184, May.
    8. Taylor, John B., 1981. "On the relation between the variability of inflation and the average inflation rate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 57-85, January.
    9. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Mattey, Joe P. & Wascher, William L., 2003. "Compensating differentials and evolution in the quality-of-life among U.S. states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 619-649, September.
    2. Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey & William L. Wascher, 1999. "House price differentials and dynamics: evidence from the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-22.
    3. Richard E. Kaglic & William A. Testa, 1999. "Slow work force growth: a challenge for the Midwest?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 31-46.
    4. 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.
    5. Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey, 1996. "Leaving Los Angeles: migration, economic opportunity and the quality-of-life," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-10, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    6. James Strathman & Thomas Kimpel & Kenneth Dueker & Richard Gerhart & Steve Callas, 2002. "Evaluation of transit operations: data applications of Tri-Met's automated Bus Dispatching System," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 321-345, August.
    7. Gebremariam, Gebremeskel H. & Gebremedhin, Tesfa G. & Schaeffer, Peter V. & Phipps, Tim T. & Jackson, Randall W., 2007. "A Spatial Panel Simultaneous-Equations Model of Business Growth, Migration Behavior, Local Public Services and Household Income in Appalachia," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9895, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Fu, Yuming & Gabriel, Stuart A., 2012. "Labor migration, human capital agglomeration and regional development in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 473-484.

    More about this item


    California ; Emigration and immigration;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1995:p:30-48:n:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Research Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.