Working From a New Home? Exposure to Remote Work and Urban Out-Migration

44 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022 Last revised: 21 Jan 2023

See all articles by Miquel Correa

Miquel Correa

Jönköping International Business School

Date Written: January 9, 2023


In this paper, I examine how exposure to working from home (WFH) contributes to the out-migration decisions of the working-age population of large Swedish cities. Studying the effects of remote work on migration is important because this employment arrangement is becoming increasingly common, as highlighted by the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, in terms of regional policy and territorial governance, WFH has theoretical potential to contribute to the reversal of the depopulation trend for peripheral regions. Based on an adjusted WFH index for occupations at the 3-digit level and registered Swedish microdata of individuals in the period 2015-2021, the results of this study show that exposure to remote work during the pandemic significantly increased the likelihood of moving out of large cities, and of doing it beyond the suburbs. The results highlight the new-found relevance of the ability to WFH as an occupational characteristic that may potentially affect the residential location of individuals. Nevertheless, the small size of the effects, usually below or approximately 1 percentage point, downplays the impact of remote work and the COVID-19 pandemic on the future distribution of population across space.

Keywords: working from home (WFH); remote work; COVID-19; migration; suburbanization; counter-urbanization

JEL Classification: J81, R23

Suggested Citation

Correa, Miquel, Working From a New Home? Exposure to Remote Work and Urban Out-Migration (January 9, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Miquel Correa (Contact Author)

Jönköping International Business School ( email )

Jönköping, 55111

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