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Migration in Arctic Alaska: Empirical Evidence of the Stepping Stones Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • E. Lance Howe

    () (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • Lee Huskey

    () (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • Matthew D. Berman

    () (Institute of Social and Economic Research and Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

Abstract

This paper explores hypotheses of hierarchical migration using data from the Alaskan Arctic. We focus on migration of Iñupiat people, who are indigenous to the region, and explore the role of income and subsistence harvests on migration. To test related hypotheses we use confidential micro-data from the US Census Bureau’s 2000 Decennial Census of Population and Income and generate migration probabilities using a mixed multinomial and conditional logit model. Our findings are broadly consistent with Ravenstein’s (1885) early hypothesis of step-wise migration; we find evidence of step-wise migration, both up and down an urban and rural hierarchy. We also find that where migrants choose to live is a function of place, personal, and household characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Lance Howe & Lee Huskey & Matthew D. Berman, 2011. "Migration in Arctic Alaska: Empirical Evidence of the Stepping Stones Hypothesis," Working Papers 2011-03, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ala:wpaper:2011-03
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    File URL: http://www.econpapers.uaa.alaska.edu/RePEC/ala/wpaper/ALA201103.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. T J Fik & R G Amey & G F Mulligan, 1992. "Labor migration amongst hierarchically competing and intervening origins and destinations," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(9), pages 1271-1290, September.
    2. Jie Zhang, 2002. "Urbanization, population transition, and growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 91-117, January.
    3. Stark, Oded & Lucas, Robert E B, 1988. "Migration, Remittances, and the Family," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 465-481, April.
    4. Lee Huskey & Matthew Berman & Alexandra Hill, 2004. "Leaving home, returning home: Migration as a labor market choice for Alaska Natives," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(1), pages 75-92, March.
    5. Jari Ritsila & Marko Ovaskainen, 2001. "Migration and regional centralization of human capital," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 317-325.
    6. Pessino, Carola, 1991. "Sequential migration theory and evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 55-87, July.
    7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Hierarchical Migration; Rural to Urban Migration; Arctic Alaska;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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