Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The effect of local ties, wages, and housing costs on migration decisions

Michaelides, Marios (2009): The effect of local ties, wages, and housing costs on migration decisions.

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Abstract

Previous research on migration has focused more on the effect of wage differences between the destination and the origin on migration and less on how non-pecuniary attachments workers have to their current location may affect their migration decisions. In this paper, we examine how the presence of a strong social network and desirable location amenities in the current location may deter individual migration across U.S. metropolitan areas. Our empirical results show that, controlling for wage and housing cost differences between metropolitan areas, workers with strong attachments to their current location are significantly less likely to move. Interestingly, the effects of a strong social network and desirable location amenities on individual migration decisions are more important than the effect of wage or housing cost differentials between the destination and the origin.

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