Internal Migration: Patterns, Policy, and Impacts on the Labor Market
Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 3:45 PM - 5:45 PM (EST)
- Chair: Jacob Bastian, Rutgers University
The Winners and Losers of Immigration: Evidence from Linked Historical Data
AbstractUsing recent innovations in linking historical U.S. Census data, we study the economic impacts of immigration on natives, including their geographic migration response. We find that the arrival of foreign immigrants significantly increases both native out-migration and in-migration.
Accounting for this selective geographic migration, we find smaller economic impacts of immigration for native workers than previous work, including no positive impact on worker incomes. We present evidence of significant “losers” from increased immigration, namely workers who appear to be displaced by immigrant labor and move out of their local labor market, whereas the workers who remain see significant benefits. We also find that younger and lower-skilled workers are “losers” from increased immigration, whereas older and higher-skilled workers are “winners.”
Local Ties in Spatial Equilibrium
AbstractSomeone who lives in an economically depressed place was probably born there. And having workers with local ties – who prefer to live in their birthplaces – leads to smaller migration responses in depressed places. Smaller migration responses lead to lower real incomes and make incomes more volatile, a form of hysteresis. Local ties can also persist for generations. Additionally, subsidies to economically depressed places cause smaller distortions, since few people want to move to depressed places. Finally, subsidies to productive places increase aggregate productivity, since they induce more migration.
The Impact of State Borders on Mobility and Regional Labor Market Adjustments
AbstractI document a new empirical pattern of internal migration in the US. Namely, that county-to-county migration drops off discretely at state borders. In other words, people are approximately twice as likely to move to a county 20 miles away, but in the same state, than to move to an equally distant county in a different state. This gap remains even among neighboring counties, or counties in the same commuting zone. This pattern is not explained by differences in county characteristics, is not driven by any particular demographic group, and is not explained by pecuniary costs such as changes in state regulation or taxes. However, I find that county-to-county commuting follows a similar pattern as does social connectedness (as measured by the number of Facebook linkages). This would be consistent with people lacking information about opportunities in other states, but also consistent with psychic costs such as the loss of a social network or geographic identify playing a role. Given the role migration plays in equilibrating labor markets after local shocks, this migration friction might have important implications on how labor markets adjust which I explore.
Federal Reserve Board
Harvard Business School
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- R2 - Household Analysis