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A Note on Migration, Economic Opportunity, and the Quality of Life


  • Cebula, Richard
  • Vedder, Richard


This study empirically investigates the impact of not only economic opportunity but also the quality of life, including environmental dimensions, on net in-migration over the 1960-1968 period. Investment is treated as an investment decision. Using available data for the largest SMSAs in the U.S. provided an opportunity to investigate migration to 39 of those SMSAs. The OLS results indicate that economic opportunity, as measured by the unemployment rate and the change in per capita income, exercised a negative impact and positive impact, respectively, on net in-migration to large SMSAs. Furthermore, it is found that quality-of-life/environmental factors such as warm weather, lower crime rates, and greater availability of medical care services attracted migrants. The presence of higher levels of air pollution were found to exercise only a very modest negative impact on ne in-migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Cebula, Richard & Vedder, Richard, 1972. "A Note on Migration, Economic Opportunity, and the Quality of Life," MPRA Paper 49824, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Jul 1972.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49824

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul K. Gatons & Richard J. Cebula, 1972. "Wage-Rate Analysis: Differentials and Indeterminacy," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 25(2), pages 207-212, January.
    2. Renas, Stephen & Cebula, Richard, 1971. "Investment in Human Capital and the Appropriate Discount Rate," MPRA Paper 51265, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Larry A. Sjaastad, 1970. "The Costs and Returns of Human Migration," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Harry W. Richardson (ed.), Regional Economics, chapter 9, pages 115-133, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. Goldman, Marshall I, 1972. "Externalities and the Race for Economic Growth in the USSR: Will the Environment Ever Win?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 314-327, March-Apr.
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    More about this item


    net in-migration; unemployment rates; income growth; climate; crime; air pollution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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