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Do the Elderly "Vote with Their Feet"?


  • Conway, Karen Smith
  • Houtenville, Andrew J


This research explores whether the elderly 'vote with their feet' by migrating to states with government policies that treat them favorably. A theoretical model is presented that clarifies the effects of cost-of-living, amenities, and the public sector on migration decisions and that informs our empirical analysis. Using state-level migration data from the 1990 Census, the authors estimate out-migration and in-migration equations that suggest that the public sector is an important determinant of elderly migration but in sometimes unexpected ways. Their results lend some support for the Tiebout hypothesis but they also raise serious questions about the nature of the elderly's preferences for government policy. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Conway, Karen Smith & Houtenville, Andrew J, 1998. "Do the Elderly "Vote with Their Feet"?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(4), pages 663-685, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:97:y:1998:i:4:p:663-85

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Gius, 2011. "The effect of income taxes on interstate migration: an analysis by age and race," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(1), pages 205-218, February.
    2. Foley, Maggie & Angjellari-Dajci, Fiorentina, 2015. "Net Migration Determinants," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1).
    3. Onder, Ali Sina & Schlunk, Herwig, 2015. "State Taxes, Tax Exemptions, and Elderly Migration," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1).
    4. Saltz, Ira S. & Capener, Don, 2016. "60 Years Later and Still Going Strong: The Continued Relevance of the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 46(1).
    5. Christian Dustmann & Giovanni Facchini & Cora Signorotto, 2015. "Population, Migration, Ageing and Health: A Survey," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1518, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. repec:bla:joares:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:35-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Alexander, Gigi & Foley, Maggie, 2014. "Determinants of Migration, Revisited," MPRA Paper 56967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Richard Cebula, 2002. "Net interstate population growth rates and the Tiebout-Tullock hypothesis: New empirical evidence, 1990–2000," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(4), pages 414-421, December.
    11. Purvi Sevak & Martin Farnham, 2002. "Local Fiscal Policy and Retiree Migration: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 02/7, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    12. Richard J. Cebula & J. R. Clark, 2013. "An extension of the Tiebout hypothesis of voting with one's feet: the Medicaid magnet hypothesis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(32), pages 4575-4583, November.
    13. MarÌa MartÌnez Torres, "undated". "Flujos migratorios interregionales en Espana: Un modelo de ecuaciones simult·neas," Studies on the Spanish Economy 207, FEDEA.
    14. Mehmet Serkan Tosun & Claudia Williamson & Pavel Yakovlev, 2007. "Population Aging, Elderly Migration and Education Spending: Intergenerational Conflict Revisited," Working Papers 07-003, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    15. repec:ris:ecoint:0797 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Richard Cebula & Christopher Duquette & Franklin Mixon, 2013. "Factors Influencing the State-Level Settlement Pattern of the Undocumented Immigrant Population in the United States," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(3), pages 203-213, September.
    17. Conway, Karen Smith & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2001. "Elderly Migration and State Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the 1990 Census Migration Flows," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 103-24, March.
    18. Johnson, Erik & Walsh, Randall, 2013. "The effect of property taxes on vacation home growth rates: Evidence from Michigan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 740-750.
    19. Matthew J. Bloomfield & Ulf Brüggemann & Hans B. Christensen & Christian Leuz, 2017. "The Effect of Regulatory Harmonization on Cross-Border Labor Migration: Evidence from the Accounting Profession," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 35-78, March.
    20. Coomes, Paul A. & Hoyt, William H., 2008. "Income taxes and the destination of movers to multistate MSAs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 920-937, May.
    21. Richard J. Cebula & J.R. Clark, 2011. "Migration, Economic Freedom, and Personal Freedom: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 27(Fall 2011), pages 43-62.
    22. Conway, Karen Smith & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2001. "Elderly Migration and State Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the 1990 Census Migration Flows," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(1), pages 103-124, March.
    23. repec:eee:touman:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:203-212 is not listed on IDEAS

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