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