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Education, Job Search and Migration

  • Emek Basker

    (University of Missouri - Columbia)

Job-search and migration behavior differ across educational groups. In this paper, I explore several differences between the migration and search behavior of workers with different levels of education, both theoretically and empirically. I start with two stylized facts. First, the propensity to migrate increases with education. Second, conditional on migration, the probability that a worker moves with a job in hand (rather than moving to search for a job in the new location) also increases with education. I present a simple individual optimization problem that captures these facts and generates a number of predictions about differential sensitivity of migration to observed variables by education. These predictions, including a nonmonotonicity of migration elasticities with respect to business-cycle conditions by educational group, and less-educated groups’ higher sensitivity to local economic conditions in the migration decision, are verified using CPS data.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0303/0303003.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0303003.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 13 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0303003
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX; to print on PostScript; pages: 37 ; figures: included. University of Missouri Working Paper 02-16
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Pissarides, Christopher A & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1989. "Unemployment and the Inter-regional Mobility of Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 739-55, September.
  2. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Shack-Marquez, Janice & Wascher, William L., 1993. "Does migration arbitrage regional labor market differentials?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 211-233, April.
  3. Antonio Spilimbergo & Luis Ubeda, 2002. "Family Attachment and the Decision to Move by Race," IMF Working Papers 02/83, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Bartel, Ann P, 1979. "The Migration Decision: What Role Does Job Mobility Play?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 775-86, December.
  7. Paolo Mauro & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1999. "How Do the Skilled and the Unskilled Respond to Regional Shocks?: The Case of Spain," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(1), pages 1.
  8. Spilimbergo, Antonio & Ubeda, Luis, 2004. "A model of multiple equilibria in geographic labor mobility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 107-123, February.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
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