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Understanding Migration Aversion Using Elicited Counterfactual Choice Probabilities

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  • Gizem Kosar
  • Tyler Ransom
  • Wilbert van der Klaauw

Abstract

This paper investigates how migration and location choice decisions depend on a large set of location characteristics, with particular focus on measuring the importance and nature of the non-monetary cost of moving. We employ a stated-preference approach to elicit respondents’ choice probabilities for a set of hypothetical choice scenarios, using two waves from the NY Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations. Our hypothetical choice methodology elicits choice probabilities from which we recover the distribution of individual-level preferences for location and mobility attributes without concerns about omitted variables and selection biases that hamper analyses based on observed mobility choices alone. We estimate substantial heterogeneity in the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for location characteristics, both across and within demographic groups. Our results also indicate evidence of sorting into current locations based on preferences for these attributes as well as a strong negative association between respondents’ non-monetary moving costs and their moving expectations and actual mobility decisions.

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  • Gizem Kosar & Tyler Ransom & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2020. "Understanding Migration Aversion Using Elicited Counterfactual Choice Probabilities," CESifo Working Paper Series 8117, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8117
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    2. Tyler Ransom, 2021. "Selective Migration, Occupational Choice, and the Wage Returns to College Majors," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 142, pages 45-110.
    3. Sunganani V. Kalemba & Aude Bernard & Jonathan Corcoran & Elin Charles-Edwards, 2022. "Has the decline in the intensity of internal migration been accompanied by changes in reasons for migration?," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 279-313, September.
    4. Broulíková, Hana M. & Huber, Peter & Montag, Josef & Sunega, Petr, 2020. "Homeownership, mobility, and unemployment: Evidence from housing privatization," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    5. Kalee Burns & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2023. "The Role of Social Costs in Response to Labor Market Opportunities: Differences across Race," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2023-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    6. Maximilian Buchholz & Harald Bathelt & John A. Cantwell, 2020. "Income divergence and global connectivity of U.S. urban regions," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(3), pages 229-248, September.
    7. Juerg Schweri, 2021. "Predicting polytomous career choices in healthcare using probabilistic expectations data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 544-563, March.
    8. Riley Wilson, 2023. "The Isolated States of America: Home State Bias and the Impact of State Borders on Mobility," CESifo Working Paper Series 10724, CESifo.
    9. Romuald Meango, 2023. "Using Probabilistic Stated Preference Analyses to Understand Actual Choices," Papers 2307.13966, arXiv.org.
    10. Büchel, Konstantin & Ehrlich, Maximilian V. & Puga, Diego & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2020. "Calling from the outside: The role of networks in residential mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    11. Timothy J. Bartik, 2020. "Using Place-Based Jobs Policies to Help Distressed Communities," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 99-127, Summer.
    12. Riley Wilson, 2021. "Isolated States of America: The Impact of State Borders on Mobility and Regional Labor Market Adjustments," Upjohn Working Papers 21-358, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    13. Maximilian Buchholz & Harald Bathelt & John A. Cantwell, 0. "Income divergence and global connectivity of U.S. urban regions," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    14. Arntz, Melanie & Brüll, Eduard & Lipowski, Cäcilia, 2021. "Do preferences for urban amenities really differ by skill?," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-045, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Diana Romero‐Espinosa & Mauricio Sarrias & Ricardo Daziano, 2021. "Are preferences for city attributes heterogeneous? An assessment using a discrete choice experiment," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 251-272, February.
    16. Hassink, Wolter & Zweerink, Jochem, 2021. "Housing careers and the Great Recession," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    17. Ryan M. Gallagher & Joseph Persky, 2020. "Heterogeneity of birth‐state effects on internal migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 517-537, June.
    18. Wilson, Riley, 2022. "The Isolated States of America: Home State Bias, State Identity, and the Impact of State Borders on Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 15193, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Chan, Sewin & O'Regan, Katherine & You, Wei, 2021. "Migration choices of the boomerang generation: Does returning home dampen labor market adjustment?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective probabilities; stated choice methodology; migration; location choice;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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