Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No Exodus: Great Recession Migration Mystery

Time to step away from the population growth model at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Demographic decline and economic development.

Subject Article: "Lose it and move it: Displaced Americans move locally."

Other Links: 1. "Hail Columbia! The federal government’s relentless expansion has made Washington, D.C., America’s real Second City."
2. "Secular Stagnation, Coalmines, Bubbles, and Larry Summers."
3. "We’re turning Japanese, I think we’re turning Japanese: This scatterplot sure seems to think so."
4. "Latin Migrants Shift Sights From U.S. to Neighbors: More Migrant Workers Send Money Home From Developing Countries."

Postscript: The running theme of my last few posts concerns growth without growth as the new paradigm of economic development. The old paradigm, growth because of population growth, is unsustainable. I'm looking at you, Portland, Oregon.


Allen said...

The talk about moving less has me curious about what the raw numbers look like. I'm not comfortable with a pronunciation like "we're not moving like we used to" when the proclaimer simply cites a ratio of something to itself. This could mean nothing.

For example, if there were a million moves a year and only 50% of them were local that would be 500k non-local moves a year. But with a housing bubble bursting leading to foreclosures, maybe we're seeing 2 million moves a year. Even if only 1/4 of them were non-local that would be just as many non-local moves happening as before. Just that a lot more people are moving.

I doubt that's the case. IIRC I think I've seen raw numbers showing less moves in total. Still, if the biggest reason people do move is for new opportunities I have hard time believing that people today have fundamentally changed and don't seek out new jobs the way they used.

Also, as you touched on, how much moving is any different than before if we control for age? What if we control for long term unemployment? Something else? As you probably know, we've seen labor participation rates fall. If there are less people participating in the labor force it stands to reason we'd have less people looking to move.

Jim Russell said...

No controversy about whether or not geographic mobility is declining. However, big debate about why geographic mobility is declining.