Declining Migration within the US: The Role of the Labor Market

49 Pages Posted: 3 May 2014

See all articles by Raven Molloy

Raven Molloy

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Christopher L. Smith

Government of the United States of America - Division of Research and Statistics

Abigail Wozniak

University of Notre Dame; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Interstate migration has decreased steadily since the 1980s. We show that this trend is not primarily related to demographic and socioeconomic factors, but instead appears to be connected to a concurrent secular decline in labor market transitions. We explore a number of reasons for the declines in geographic and labor market transitions, and find the strongest support for explanations related to a decrease in the net benefit to changing employers. Our preferred interpretation is that the distribution of relevant outside offers has shifted in a way that has made labor market transitions, and thus geographic transitions, less desirable to workers.

Keywords: migration, migration decline, labor market transitions, job transitions, returns to tenure

JEL Classification: J6, J1

Suggested Citation

Molloy, Raven and Smith, Christopher L. and Wozniak, Abigail, Declining Migration within the US: The Role of the Labor Market. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8149. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432433

Raven Molloy (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Christopher L. Smith

Government of the United States of America - Division of Research and Statistics ( email )

20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Abigail Wozniak

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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