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Voting with Your Feet: Political Competition and Internal Migration in the United States

  • Liu, Wai-Man
  • Ngo, Phong

Do people "vote with their feet" due to a lack of political competition? We formalize the theory of political competition and migration to show that increasing political competition lowers political rent leading to net in-migration. Our empirical application using US data supports this prediction. We �find that an increase in political competition - in the order of magnitude observed in US Southern states during the post-war period - leads to an increase in net migration of approximately 36 individuals per 1000 population. In comparison, birth rates over the last century ranged between 70 and 150 births per 1000 population.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/43601/1/MPRA_paper_43601.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 43601.

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Date of creation: 16 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43601
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  1. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  2. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randall P. Walsh, 2008. "Do People Vote with Their Feet? An Empirical Test of Tiebout," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 843-63, June.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
  7. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  8. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
  9. Li Ke & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Divisions Of Labour, Specialization And The Enforcement Of A System Of Property Rights: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 307-326, December.
  10. Molloy, Raven & Smith, Christopher L. & Wozniak, Abigail, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Wai-Man Liu & Xiaokai Yang, 2007. "Effects Of Political Monopoly On Economic Development," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 69-78, 02.
  12. Raven E. Saks & Abigail Wozniak, 2007. "Labor reallocation over the business cycle: new evidence from internal migration," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  14. Wright, Gavin, 1987. "The Economic Revolution in the American South," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 161-78, Summer.
  15. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
  16. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  17. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo & Xiaokai Yang, 2000. "Economic Reforms and Constitutional Transition," CID Working Papers 43, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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