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Migration and implicit amenity markets: does incomplete compensation matter?

  • David E. Clark
  • William E. Herrin
  • Thomas A. Knapp
  • Nancy E. White

We first develop an empirical approach for generating measures of wage over or under compensation (incomplete compensation) for location attributes. We then devise a method to test whether migration is influenced by incomplete compensation in wages for location characteristics. An intercity wage regression is estimated where fixed effects capture the impact of site characteristics on wages. We then regress the fixed effects on a comprehensive vector of site attributes, where the residuals from this stage capture incomplete compensation in wages. The derived measures of incomplete compensation are included in a standard microdata-based discrete choice model of migration. The results suggest that incomplete wage compensation for site characteristics matters in migration decisions, and the findings are consistent with tendencies toward spatial equilibrium in the distribution of population. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 3 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 289-307

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:3:y:2003:i:3:p:289-307
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  1. Beeson, Patricia E., 1991. "Amenities and regional differences in returns to worker characteristics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 224-241, September.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 1997. "Understanding the Twentieth-Century Growth in U.S. School Spending," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 35-68.
  3. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1999. "Location and the effect of demographic traits on earnings," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 445-461, July.
  4. Margo, Robert A., 1992. "Explaining the postwar suburbanization of population in the United States: The role of income," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-310, May.
  5. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 2000. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 20-54, January.
  6. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1996. "Commutes, Neighborhood Effects, and Earnings: An Analysis of Racial Discrimination and Compensating Differentials," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-83, July.
  7. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S111-43, June.
  8. Thomas A. Knapp & Nancy E. White, 1992. "Migration Decisions And Site-Specific Attributes Of Public Policy: Microeconomic Evidence From The NLSY," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 169-184, Fall.
  9. Greenwood, Michael J, et al, 1991. "Migration, Regional Equilibrium, and the Estimation of Compensating Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1382-90, December.
  10. Cragg, Michael & Kahn, Matthew, 1997. "New Estimates of Climate Demand: Evidence from Location Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 261-284, September.
  11. Knapp, Thomas A. & Graves, Philip E., 1989. "On the role of amenities in models of migration and regional development," MPRA Paper 19914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Mueser Peter R. & Graves Philip E., 1995. "Examining the Role of Economic Opportunity and Amenities in Explaining Population Redistribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 176-200, March.
  13. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  14. Graves, Philip E. & Linneman, Peter D., 1979. "Household migration: Theoretical and empirical results," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 383-404, July.
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