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Rural Bound: Determinants of Metro to Non-Metro Migration in the United States

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  • Anil Rupasingha
  • Yongzheng Liu
  • Mark Partridge

Abstract

A general global precept is that agglomeration forces lead to migration from rural to urban areas. Yet for much of the time since the early 1970s, more people have moved from metro to nonmetro U.S. counties. The underlying causes of this pattern have changed over time with economic shocks and changing household preferences. For instance, the post 2000 period has seen a significant decline in domestic migration rates, a significant increase in commodity prices that favor rural areas, and potential changes in the valuation of natural amenities that would affect migration. This article investigates the determinants of U.S. gross migration from metro to nonmetro counties and nonmetro to metro counties for the 1995-2000 and 2005-2009 periods in order to compare the differences in rural to urban and urban to rural migration, as well as compare the 1990s to the 2005-2009 periods. More specifically, the present study extends the literature by more broadly examining the underlying factors associated with deconcentration and economic restructuring arguments of metro to nonmetro migration. The article uses (1) extensive county-to-county migration flows and (2) the utility maximization theory that extends the framework of a discrete choice model. The results show that population density, distance to urban areas, industry mix employment growth, natural amenities, and percentage of older people are key factors underlying these migration patterns. We also find a slight fading of effects of natural amenities and population density, and a slight increase in the effects of wage and employment growth from 2005-2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Anil Rupasingha & Yongzheng Liu & Mark Partridge, 2015. "Rural Bound: Determinants of Metro to Non-Metro Migration in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(3), pages 680-700.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:97:y:2015:i:3:p:680-700.
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    Cited by:

    1. Celia Melguizo Cháfe & Vicente Royuela, 2017. "“What drives migration moves across urban areas in Spain?. Evidence from the Great Recession”," AQR Working Papers 201709, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Sep 2017.
    2. Marre, Alexander W. & Rupasingha, Anil, 2016. "School Quality and the Urban-Rural Migration of Firms," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235965, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. repec:spr:ediscc:v:2:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41885-017-0020-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ramsey, Ford & Sonoda, Tadashi, 2015. "Productivity and Exits from Farming in Japan," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205122, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Heike Mayer & Antoine Habersetzer & Rahel Meili, 2016. "Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-13, August.

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