Declining Migration within the U.S.: The Role of the Labor Market

Raven Molloy, Christopher L. Smith, Abigail Wozniak
2013 Social Science Research Network  
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more » ... von diesen Nutzungsbedingungen die in der dort genannten Lizenz gewährten Nutzungsrechte. ABSTRACT Declining Migration within the US: The Role of the Labor Market * Interstate migration has decreased steadily since the 1980s. We show that this trend is not primarily related to demographic and socioeconomic factors, but instead appears to be connected to a concurrent secular decline in labor market transitions. We explore a number of reasons for the declines in geographic and labor market transitions, and find the strongest support for explanations related to a decrease in the net benefit to changing employers. Our preferred interpretation is that the distribution of relevant outside offers has shifted in a way that has made labor market transitions, and thus geographic transitions, less desirable to workers. NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY We follow-up our 2011 paper, which documented that migration between subnational labor markets in the US has declined for the last three decades. Drawing on a variety of data sources, we link this decline to fewer transitions between employers, industries and occupations among US workers. We rule out several other possible explanations, such as changing demographics, lock-in effects of employer-provided health insurance, and changing industrial structure. Our paper suggests that the employer-employee relationship in the US has changed over the last quarter of the 20th century in a way that keeps workers at their jobs and in a location longer. JEL Classification: J6, J1
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2373558 fatcat:a7ogmkf725acfnid7rzhenzq6y