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Declining Migration within the U.S.: The Role of the Labor Market

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  • Raven Molloy
  • Christopher L. Smith
  • Abigail K. Wozniak

Abstract

Interstate migration has decreased steadily since the 1980s. We show that this trend is not primarily related to demographic and socioeconomic factors, but instead appears to be connected to a concurrent secular decline in labor market transitions. We explore a number of reasons for the declines in geographic and labor market transitions, and find the strongest support for explanations related to a decrease in the net benefit to changing employers. Our preferred interpretation is that the distribution of relevant outside offers has shifted in a way that has made labor market transitions, and thus geographic transitions, less desirable to workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail K. Wozniak, 2014. "Declining Migration within the U.S.: The Role of the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 20065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20065
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2016. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," NBER Working Papers 22762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:moneco:v:93:y:2018:i:c:p:89-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michael Amior & Alan Manning, 2015. "The Persistence of Local Joblessness," CEP Discussion Papers dp1357, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Hyatt, Henry R. & Spletzer, James R., 2016. "The shifting job tenure distribution," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 363-377.
    8. Henry R. Hyatt, 2015. "The decline in job-to-job flows," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 175-175, July.
    9. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Cooper, Daniel, 2014. "The Ins and Arounds in the U.S. Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 10041, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:47 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. repec:cen:wpaper:16-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 20479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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