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What Drags and Drives Mobility: Explaining Canada’s Aggregate Migration Patterns


  • David Amirault
  • Daniel de Munnik
  • Sarah Miller


Using census data at the economic region level from 1991 to 2006 and a gravity model framework, this paper examines the factors that influence migration within Canada. Results from both Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood and negative binominal regression models suggest that provincial borders are statistically significant barriers to migration but the magnitude of their effect varies by model specification. The regression results also indicate that differences in employment rates, household incomes and language are important in explaining migration between Canadian economic regions. We also find evidence that the negative effect of distance on migration may be declining over time.

Suggested Citation

  • David Amirault & Daniel de Munnik & Sarah Miller, 2012. "What Drags and Drives Mobility: Explaining Canada’s Aggregate Migration Patterns," Staff Working Papers 12-28, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:12-28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars Osberg & Daniel V. Gordon & Zhengxi Lin, 1994. "Interregional Migration and Interindustry Labour Mobility in Canada: A Simultaneous Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 58-80, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Lachaine, 2018. "Applying the Wage-Common to Canadian Provinces," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-16, Bank of Canada.
    2. Taylor Webley, 2018. "Fundamental Drivers of Existing Home Sales in Canada," Discussion Papers 18-16, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item


    Econometric and statistical methods; Labour markets; Regional economic developments;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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