Fast Locations and Slowing Labor Mobility

57 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018

See all articles by Kyle Mangum

Kyle Mangum

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Patrick Coate

National Council on Compensation Insurance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

This paper offers an explanation for declining internal migration in the United States motivated by a new empirical fact: the mobility decline is driven by locations with typically high rates of population turnover. These "fast" locations were the Sunbelt centers of population growth during the twentieth century. The paper presents evidence that as spatial population growth converged, residents of fast locations were subject to rising levels of preference for home. Using a novel measure of home attachment, the paper develops and estimates a structural model of migration that distinguishes moving frictions from home utility. Simulations quantify the role of multiple explanations of the mobility decline. Rising home attachment accounts for nearly half of the decline, roughly as large as the effect of an aging population, and is consistent with the spatial pattern. The implication is recent declining migration is a long run result of population shifts of the twentieth century.

Keywords: Migration, regional population, labor mobility, home attachments

JEL Classification: R23, J11, C65

Suggested Citation

Mangum, Kyle and Coate, Patrick, Fast Locations and Slowing Labor Mobility (March 2018). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 18-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3175955 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3175955

Kyle Mangum (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Patrick Coate

National Council on Compensation Insurance ( email )

5 Marine View Plaza, 4th Floor
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5722
United States

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