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Retiree Migration: Considerations of Amenity and Health Access Drivers


  • Karner, Anne M.
  • Dorfman, Jeffrey H.


After a lifetime of working and saving, retirement is a time that an individual can participate in aspirations and activities that were difficult to explore under the constraints of family rearing and full time employment. This newfound freedom allows one to act on her true preferences and alter her lifestyle. One such example is in location decisions. When examining the drivers of migration for retirees versus people still in the work force, one finds that the drivers for the two groups are not synonymous. For those in the labor force, the weight of locational attributes in decision making can be second best to employment opportunities. However, incomes of retirees are often invariant of their location decisions, and their migration decisions are decoupled from job market conditions. Retirees can indulge in specific tastes and preferences such as a preference for natural amenities or access to health care services. This paper examines the question of which attribute is more important when a retiree migrant is deciding between easy medical access versus possibly secluded natural amenities. Retirees appear to consider both attributes, with natural amenities appearing more important drivers of migration decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Karner, Anne M. & Dorfman, Jeffrey H., 2012. "Retiree Migration: Considerations of Amenity and Health Access Drivers," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124606, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124606

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    2. Rappaport, Jordan, 2007. "Moving to nice weather," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398, May.
    3. Thomas A. Knapp & Nancy E. White & David E. Clark, 2001. "A Nested Logit Approach to Household Mobility," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 1-22.
    4. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-277, June.
    5. Chen, Yong & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 519-537, November.
    6. McGranahan, David A., 1999. "Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change," Agricultural Economics Reports 33955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Michael Storper & Allen J. Scott, 2009. "Rethinking human capital, creativity and urban growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 147-167, March.
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    More about this item


    health care access; migration; natural amenities; retirees; Environmental Economics and Policy; Health Economics and Policy; I11; J11; J18;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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