Demography

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 631–653 | Cite as

Job Changing and the Decline in Long-Distance Migration in the United States

  • Raven Molloy
  • Christopher L. Smith
  • Abigail Wozniak
Article

Abstract

Interstate migration in the United States has decreased steadily since the 1980s, but little is known about the causes of this decline. We show that declining migration is related to a concurrent secular decline in job changing. Neither trend is primarily due to observable demographic or socioeconomic factors. Rather, we argue that the decline in job changing has caused the decline in migration. After establishing a role for the labor market in declining migration, we turn to the question of why job changing has become less frequent over the past several decades. We find little support for several explanations, including the rise of dual-career households, the decline in middle-skill jobs, occupational licensing, and the need for employees to retain health insurance. Thus, the reasons for these dual trends remain opaque and should be explored further.

Keywords

Migration Job change Labor market participation Population aging Licensing 

References

  1. Autor, D. H., Katz, L. F., & Kearney, M. S. (2008). Trends in wage inequality: Re-assessing the revisionists. Review of Economics and Statistics, 90, 300–323.Google Scholar
  2. Bachmann, R., & Cooper, D. H. (2012). Cyclical and sectoral transitions in the U.S. housing market (Research Department Working Papers, No. 12–17). Bostom, MA: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, M., & Charles-Edwards, E. (2013). Cross-national comparisons of internal migration: An update on global patterns and trends (Population Division, Technical Paper No. 2013/1). New York, NY: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.Google Scholar
  4. Benson, A. (2014). Re-thinking the two-body problem: The segregation of women into geographically dispersed occupations. Demography, 51, 1619–1639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentivogli, C., & Pagano, P. (1999). Regional disparities and labour mobility: The Euro-11 versus the USA. Labour, 13, 737–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blanchard, O., & Katz, L. (1992). Regional evolutions. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 23(1), 1–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borjas, G. (2001). Does immigration grease the wheels of the labor market? Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 32(1), 69–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bound, J., & Holzer, H. J. (2000). Demand shifts, population adjustments, and labor market outcomes during the 1980s. Journal of Labor Economics, 18, 20–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cadena, B. C., & Kovak, B. K. (2016). Immigrants equilibrate local labor markets: Evidence from the Great Recession. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 8(1), 257–290.Google Scholar
  10. Cairo, I. (2013). The slowdown in business employment dynamics: The role of changing skill demands. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/isabelcairo/Cairo_JMP.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
  11. Champion, T., & Shuttlesworth, I. (2016). Are people changing address less? An analysis of migration within England and Wales, 1971–2011, by distance of move. Population, Space and Place. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/psp.2026
  12. Chen, Y., & Rosenthal, S. S. (2008). Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun? Journal of Urban Economics, 64, 519–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, W. A. V., & Withers, S. D. (2007). Family migration and mobility sequences in the United States: Spatial mobility in the context of the life course. Demographic Research, 17(article 20), 591–622. doi:10.4054/DemRes.2007.17.20
  14. Cooke, T. J. (2011). It is not just the economy: Declining migration and the rise of secular rootedness. Population, Space and Place, 17, 193–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cooke, T. J. (2013). Internal migration in decline. Professional Geographer, 65, 664–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corrado, C., Hulten, C., & Sichel, D. (2009). Intangible capital and U.S. economic growth. Review of Income and Wealth, 55, 661–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Costa, D. L., & Kahn, M. E. (2000). Power couples: Changes in the locational choice of the college educated, 1940–1990. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115, 1287–1315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dao, M., Furceri, D., & Loungani, P. (2014). Regional labor market adjustments in the United States and Europe (IMF Working Paper No. WP/14/26). Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, S. J., Faberman, R. J., & Haltiwanger, J. (2012). Labor market flows in the cross section and over time. Journal of Monetary Economics, 59, 1–18.Google Scholar
  20. Davis, S. J., & Haltiwanger, J. (2014). Labor market fluidity and economic performance (NBER Working Paper No. 20479). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  21. Decker, R., Haltiwanger, J., Jarmin, R., & Miranda, J. (2014). The role of entrepreneurship in US job creation and economic dynamism. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28(3), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Decressin, J., & Fatas, A. (1995). Regional labour market dynamics in Europe. European Economic Review, 39, 1627–1655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. DePasquale, C., & Stange, K. (2016). Labor supply effects of occupational regulation: Evidence from the nurse licensure compact (NBER Working Paper No. 22344). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  24. Easterlin, R. A. (1976). The conflict between aspirations and resources. Population and Development Review, 2, 417–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Easterlin, R. A. (1980). Birth and fortune: The impact of numbers on personal welfare. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  26. Fischer, C. S. (2002). Ever-more rooted Americans. City & Community, 1, 177–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fujita, S. (2012). Declining labor turnover and turbulence (Working Paper No. 11–44/R). Philadelphia, PA: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  28. Ganong, P., & Shoag, D. (2012). Why has regional income convergence in the U.S. stopped? (Faculty Research Working Paper No. RWP12–028). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Kennedy School.Google Scholar
  29. Garthwaite, C., Gross, T., & Notowidigdo, M. J. (2014). Public health insurance, labor supply, and employment lock. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129, 653–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Greenwood, M. J. (1997). Internal migration in developed countries. In M. R. Rosenzweig & O. Stark (Eds.), Handbook of population and family economics (Vol. 1B, pp. 647–720). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  31. Gruber, J., & Madrian, B. C. (2002). Health insurance, labor supply, and job mobility: A critical review of the literature (NBER Working Paper No. 8817). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  32. Gyourko, J., Saiz, A., & Summers, A. (2008). A new measure of the local regulatory environment for housing markets: The Wharton Residential Land Use Regulatory Index. Urban Studies, 45, 693–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Holen, A. S. (1965). Effects of professional licensing arrangements on interstate labor mobility and resource allocation. Journal of Political Economy, 73, 492–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hyatt, H. R., & Spletzer, J. R. (2013). The recent decline in employment dynamics. IZA Journal of Labor Economics, 2, 5. doi:10.1186/2193-8997-2-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hyatt, H. R., & Spletzer, J. R. (2015). The recent decline of single quarter jobs (IZA Discussion Paper No. 8805). Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor.Google Scholar
  36. Kaplan, G., & Schulhofer-Wohl, S. (2012). Interstate migration has fallen by less than you think: Consequences of hot deck imputation in the Current Population Survey. Demography, 49, 1061–1074.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kaplan, G., & Schulhofer-Wohl, S. (Forthcoming). Understanding the long-run decline in interstate migration. International Economic Review.Google Scholar
  38. Kleiner, M. M. (2006). Licensing occupations: Ensuring quality or restriction competition? Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute Press.Google Scholar
  39. Kleiner, M. M. (2015). Reforming occupational licensing policies (The Hamilton Project policy proposal). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Retrieved from http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/reforming_occupational_licensing_policies/
  40. Kleiner, M. M., Gay, R. S., & Greene, K. (1982). Barriers to labor migration: The case of occupational licensing. Industrial Relations, 21, 383–391.Google Scholar
  41. Kleiner, M. M., & Krueger, A. B. (2013). Analyzing the extent and influence of occupational licensing on the labor market. Journal of Labor Economics, 31, S173–S202.Google Scholar
  42. Koerber, K. (2007). Comparison of ACS and ASEC data on geographic mobility: 2004 (Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division report). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/library/working-papers/2007/acs/2007_Koerber_01.html
  43. Lee, E. S. (1966). A theory of migration. Demography, 3, 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Madrian, B. C. (2004). Health insurance portability, labor supply and job mobility (CISS Working Paper No. 04012). Mexico City, Mexico: Inter-American Conference on Social Security.Google Scholar
  45. Magrini, S. (2004). Regional (di)convergence. Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, 4, 2741–2796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Massey, D. S. (1999). Why does immigration occur? A theoretical synthesis. In C. Hirschman, P. Kasinitz, & J. DeWind (Eds.), The handbook of international migration: The American experience (pp. 35–52). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  47. Molloy, R., Smith, C. L., Trezzi, R., & Wozniak, A. (2016). Understanding declining fluidity in the U.S. labor market. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2016(Spring), 183–237.Google Scholar
  48. Molloy, R., Smith, C. L., & Wozniak, A. (2011). Internal migration in the U.S. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(3), 173–196.Google Scholar
  49. Morrison, P. S., & Clark, W. A. V. (2011). Internal migration and employment: Macro flows and micro motives. Environment & Planning A, 43, 1948–1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moscarini, G., & Thomsson, K. (2007). Occupational and job mobility in the US. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 109, 807–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Partridge, M. D., Rickman, D. S., Olfert, M. R., & Ali, K. (2012). Dwindling U.S. internal migration: Evidence of spatial equilibrium or structural shifts in local labor markets? Regional Science and Urban Economics, 42, 375–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Plane, D. A., & Rogerson, P. A. (1991). Tracking the baby boom, the baby bust, and the echo generation: How age composition regulates US migration. Professional Geographer, 43, 416–430.Google Scholar
  53. Pugsley, B., & Şahin, A. (2014). Grown-up business cycles (Staff Report No. 707). New York, NY: Federal Reserve Bank of New York.Google Scholar
  54. Roback, J. (1982). Wages, rents, and the quality of life. Journal of Political Economy, 90, 1257–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rosen, S. (1979). Wage-based indexes of urban quality of life. In P. M. Mieszkowski & M. R. Straszheim (Eds.), Current issues in urban economics (pp. 74–104). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Saks, R. E., & Wozniak, A. (2011). Labor reallocation over the business cycle: New evidence from internal migration. Journal of Labor Economics, 29, 697–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schwartz, A. (1976). Migration, age, and education. Journal of Political Economy, 84, 701–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sjaastad, L. A. (1962). The costs and returns of human migration. Journal of Political Economy, 70(5, Part 2), 80–93.Google Scholar
  59. Stewart, J. (2007). Using March CPS data to analyze labor market transitions. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 32, 177–197.Google Scholar
  60. Wilson, F. D. (1983). Cohort size effects and migration. International Migration Review, 17, 485–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wolf, D. A., & Longino, C. F., Jr. (2005). Our “increasingly mobile society”? The curious persistence of a false belief. Gerontologist, 45, 5–11.Google Scholar
  62. Zabel, J. E. (2012). Migration, housing market, and labor market responses to employment shocks. Journal of Urban Economics, 72, 267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zelinsky, W. (1971). The hypothesis of the mobility transition. Geographical Review, 61, 219–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raven Molloy
    • 1
  • Christopher L. Smith
    • 1
  • Abigail Wozniak
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Federal Reserve Board of GovernorsWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Flanner HallUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  3. 3.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.IZA Institute of Labor EconomicsBonnGermany

Personalised recommendations