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Job Changing and the Decline in Long-Distance Migration in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Raven Molloy

    (Federal Reserve Board of Governors)

  • Christopher L. Smith

    (Federal Reserve Board of Governors)

  • Abigail Wozniak

    (University of Notre Dame
    National Bureau of Economic Research
    IZA Institute of Labor Economics)

Abstract

Interstate migration in the United States has decreased steadily since the 1980s, but little is known about the causes of this decline. We show that declining migration is related to a concurrent secular decline in job changing. Neither trend is primarily due to observable demographic or socioeconomic factors. Rather, we argue that the decline in job changing has caused the decline in migration. After establishing a role for the labor market in declining migration, we turn to the question of why job changing has become less frequent over the past several decades. We find little support for several explanations, including the rise of dual-career households, the decline in middle-skill jobs, occupational licensing, and the need for employees to retain health insurance. Thus, the reasons for these dual trends remain opaque and should be explored further.

Suggested Citation

  • Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2017. "Job Changing and the Decline in Long-Distance Migration in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 631-653, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0551-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0551-9
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    2. Sumita, Kazuto & Nakazawa, Katsuyoshi & Kawase, Akihiro, 2021. "Long-term care facilities and migration of elderly households in an aged society: Empirical analysis based on micro data," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).
    3. Michael Thomas & Brian Joseph Gillespie & Nik Lomax, 2019. "Variations in migration motives over distance," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(38), pages 1097-1110.
    4. Michael Bailey & Theresa Kuchler & Dominic Russel & Bogdan State & Johannes Stroebel, 2020. "The Determinants and Effects of Social Connectedness in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 8310, CESifo.
    5. Michael Amior & Alan Manning, 2018. "The Persistence of Local Joblessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1942-1970, July.
    6. Carter, Susan Payne & Swisher, Ryan D., 2020. "The effect of moving away from home on employee retention: Evidence among U.S. army soldiers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    7. Thomas B. Foster, 2017. "Decomposing American immobility: Compositional and rate components of interstate, intrastate, and intracounty migration and mobility decline," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(47), pages 1515-1548.
    8. Jeremy Burke & Amalia R. Miller, 2018. "The Effects Of Job Relocation On Spousal Careers: Evidence From Military Change Of Station Moves," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1261-1277, April.
    9. John V. Winters, 2017. "Do Native STEM Graduates Increase Innovation? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Economics Working Paper Series 1714, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    10. Mathew Hauer & James Byars, 2019. "IRS county-to-county migration data, 1990‒2010," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(40), pages 1153-1166.
    11. Bailey, Michael & Kuchler, Theresa & Russel, Dominic & State, Bogdan & Stroebel, Johannes, 2020. "Social Connectedness in Europe," SocArXiv 3wh67, Center for Open Science.
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    13. Robert Bozick, 2021. "Age, period, and cohort effects contributing to the Great American Migration Slowdown," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 45(42), pages 1269-1296.
    14. Osborne Jackson, 2019. "The impact of migration on earnings inequality in New England," New England Public Policy Center Research Report 19-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    15. Osborne Jackson, 2018. "The impact of migration on earnings inequality," Working Papers 19-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    16. Ding, Xiaozhou, 2021. "College education and internal migration in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).

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