Gross In-Migration and Public Policy in the U.S. during the Great Recession: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis, 2008-2009
For the period 2008-2009 of the “Great Recession,” the gross state-level in-migration rate was an increasing function of expected per capita personal income, state parks per capita, and warmer January temperatures. For the same study period, the gross in-migration rate was a decreasing function of the cost of living, the poverty rate, the average state income tax rate, per capita property taxation, and hazardous waste sites. All of the estimates yield results suggesting consistently, as in previous studies of earlier time periods, that migrants (consumer-voters) at the very minimum prefer lower state income tax burdens and lower property tax burdens. Consumer-voters’ evaluation of government services in determining their choice of location during the “Great Recession” appears to depend upon the type of government service. While consumer-voters on average appear to prefer states with greater public provision of state parks, our results do not indicate a strong preference for states with higher per pupil outlays on primary and secondary public education.
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