From L.A. to Boise: How Migration Has Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic

38 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 26 Mar 2021

See all articles by Peter H. Haslag

Peter H. Haslag

Vanderbilt University - Finance

Daniel Weagley

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: March 26, 2021

Abstract

We provide an initial assessment of how migration patterns and migrants motivations for moving have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We use proprietary data on over 300,000 residential, interstate moves over the last four years, which includes details on each move as well as detailed survey data. We find 10--20% of moves between April 2020--February 2021 were influenced by COVID-19, with a significant shift in migration towards smaller cities, lower cost of living locations, and locations with fewer pandemic-related restrictions. We find very different patterns across higher-income and lower-income migrants with higher income households moving out of more populous cities at greater rates, and moving more for lifestyle reasons and much less for work-related reasons compared to the pre-pandemic period. Our results have implications for the structure of cities, tax and political bases, real estate, and other outcomes of interest.

Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Relocation, Remote Work, Agglomeration

JEL Classification: R23, J61, J11, R10, O15

Suggested Citation

Haslag, Peter H. and Weagley, Daniel, From L.A. to Boise: How Migration Has Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3808326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3808326

Peter H. Haslag (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Finance ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sites.google.com/site/peterhaslag/

Daniel Weagley

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
(404) 385-3015 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.danielweagley.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
888
Abstract Views
3,346
rank
32,126
PlumX Metrics