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Declining migration within the US: the role of the labor market

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Abstract

We examine explanations for the secular decline in interstate migration since the 1980s. After showing that demographic and socioeconomic factors can account for little of this decrease, we present evidence suggesting that it is related to a downward trend in labor market transitions--i.e. a decline in the fraction of workers moving from job to job, changing industry, and changing occupation--that occurred over the same period. We explore a number of reasons why these flows have diminished over time, including changes in the distribution of job opportunities across space, polarization in the labor market, concerns of dual-career households, and a strengthening of internal labor markets. We find little empirical support for all but the last of these hypotheses. Specifically, using data from three cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys spanning the 1970s to the 2000s, we find that wage gains associated with employer transitions have fallen, possibly signaling a growing role for internal labor markets in determining wages.

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  • Raven S. Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2013. "Declining migration within the US: the role of the labor market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-27
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    1. Does Moving for a Job Mean Higher Wages?
      by Guest Author in The Big Picture on 2015-06-04 14:00:28

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    Cited by:

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    3. Herkenhoff, Kyle F. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Prescott, Edward C., 2018. "Tarnishing the golden and empire states: Land-use restrictions and the U.S. economic slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 89-109.
    4. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1737-1772, July.
    5. Hirsch, Barry & Husain, Muhammad M. & Winters, John V., 2016. "The Puzzling Fixity of Multiple Job Holding across Regions and Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 9631, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Hyatt, Henry R. & Spletzer, James R., 2016. "The shifting job tenure distribution," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 363-377.
    7. Alfonso Arpaia & Aron Kiss & Balazs Palvolgyi & Alessandro Turrini, 2016. "Labour mobility and labour market adjustment in the EU," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-21, December.
    8. Rüdiger Bachmann & Daniel H. Cooper, 2014. "The ins and arounds in the U.S. housing market," Working Papers 14-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    9. Marc A. C. Hafstead & Roberton C. Williams III, 2020. "Jobs and Environmental Regulation," Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 192-240.
    10. Champion, Tony & Shuttleworth, Ian, 2015. "Is internal migration slowing? An analysis of four decades of NHSCR records for England and Wales," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64617, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Michael Amior & Alan Manning, 2018. "The Persistence of Local Joblessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1942-1970, July.
    12. Escobar, Octavio & Mühlen, Henning, 2019. "Decomposing a decomposition: Within-country differences and the role of structural change in productivity growth," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 05-2019, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    13. Hahn, Joyce K. & Hyatt, Henry R. & Janicki, Hubert P., 2021. "Job ladders and growth in earnings, hours, and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    14. Brown, Jennifer & Matsa, David A., 2020. "Locked in by leverage: Job search during the housing crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(3), pages 623-648.
    15. Détang-Dessendre, Cécile & Partridge, Mark D. & Piguet, Virginie, 2016. "Local labor market flexibility in a perceived low migration country: The case of French labor markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 89-103.
    16. Champion, Tony & Shuttleworth, Ian, 2015. "Are people moving home less? An analysis of address changing in England and Wales, 1971-2011, using the ONS longitudinal study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Henry R. Hyatt, 2015. "The decline in job-to-job flows," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 175-175, July.
    18. Aude Bernard & Martin Bell, 2018. "Internal migration and education: A cross-national comparison," Papers 1812.08913, arXiv.org.
    19. Kevin Rinz, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration, Earnings Inequality, and Earnings Mobility," CARRA Working Papers 2018-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    20. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 20479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ben Lipsius, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration does not Explain the Falling Labor Share," 2018 Papers pli1202, Job Market Papers.
    22. Kale, Jayant R. & Ryan, Harley E. & Wang, Lingling, 2019. "Outside employment opportunities, employee productivity, and debt discipline," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-161.
    23. Munguia Corella, Luis Felipe, 2020. "Minimum Wages in Monopsonistic Labor Markets," SocArXiv abpj9, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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