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Leaving Home: Modeling the Effect of Civic and Economic Structure on Individual Migration Patterns


  • Alfred Nucci
  • Charles Tolbert
  • Troy Blanchard
  • Michael Irwin


This research analyzes the effect of community structure upon individuals' probabilities of moving between 1985 and 1990. Using the full Census sample long form microdata for 1990, we re-allocate adult persons in 1990 to their 1985 county of residence. Then, using origin county macro-structural variables (derived from the Economic Census microdata) and individual characteristics (from Decennial Census microdata), we develop a two level hierarchical linear model. In level 1, we construct a logistic equation modeling individual probabilities of moving. In level 2, we model the contextual effects of origin community structure on these models. These contextual effects fall into two categories: 1) economic conditions that comprise the usual aggregate 'push' factors and 2) civic community factors that act to retain people in their community. Results specify the relationship between community context and individual migration patterns, and demonstrate effects of local economic structure and local civic structure on these individual probabilities. Most notably, we find that civic attributes of communities are associated with a propensity to stay in place, net of community economic factors and individual characteristics.

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  • Alfred Nucci & Charles Tolbert & Troy Blanchard & Michael Irwin, 2002. "Leaving Home: Modeling the Effect of Civic and Economic Structure on Individual Migration Patterns," Working Papers 02-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-16

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    1. Barrett Lee & R. Oropesa & James Kanan, 1994. "Neighborhood Context and Residential Mobility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(2), pages 249-270, May.
    2. W. A. V. Clark, 1985. "Human Migration," Book Chapters,in: Grant I. Thrall (ed.), Scientific Geography, pages 51 Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    4. T A Lyson & C M Tolbert, 1996. "Small manufacturing and nonmetropolitan socioeconomic well-being," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(10), pages 1779-1794, October.
    5. DaVanzo, Julie, 1978. "Does Unemployment Affect Migration?-Evidence from Micro Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 504-514, November.
    6. William Clark, 1992. "Residential preferences and residential choices in a multiethnic context," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(3), pages 451-466, August.
    7. Larry Long, 1973. "Migration differentials by education and occupation: Trends and variations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 10(2), pages 243-258, May.
    8. T A Lyson & C M Tolbert, 1996. "Small Manufacturing and Nonmetropolitan Socioeconomic Well-Being," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 28(10), pages 1779-1794, October.
    9. repec:brs:ecchap:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Glenn Deane, 1990. "Mobility and adjustments: Paths to the resolution of residential stress," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 27(1), pages 65-79, February.
    11. Michael White & Peter Mueser, 1988. "Implications of boundary choice for the measurement of residential mobility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(3), pages 443-459, August.
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    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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