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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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    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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