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

Author

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  • Liu, Wai-Man
  • Ngo, Phong

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Wai-Man & Ngo, Phong, 2012. "Voting with Your Feet: Political Competition and Internal Migration in the United States," MPRA Paper 43601, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43601
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/43601/1/MPRA_paper_43601.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    political competition; internal migration; welfare; Voting Rights Act;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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