Fast Locations and Slowing Labor Mobility
95 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2019
Date Written: 2019-12-02
Declining internal migration in the United States is driven by increasing home attachment in locations with initially high rates of population turnover. These 'fast' locations were the population growth destinations of the 20th century, where home attachments were low, but have increased as regional population growth has converged. Using a novel measure of attachment, this paper estimates a structural model of migration that distinguishes moving frictions from home utility. Simulations quantify candidate explanations of the decline. Rising home attachment accounts for most of the decline not attributable to population aging, and its effect is consistent with the observed spatial pattern.
Keywords: declining internal migration, labor mobility, home attachment, rootedness, local ties, conditional choice probability estimation
JEL Classification: C50, J61, R11, R23
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