Undirected migration

Grant Type: academic

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $50,000

Grant description:

This research will investigate whether out-migration is a successful response to local economic shocks. In the wake of the Great Recession and its uneven impact on communities in different parts of the United States, out-migration was considered to be a key way for Americans to escape the incidence of local economic shocks. Recent work, however, finds that actual out-migration provided little insurance against recent local shocks, and U.S. migration rates have fallen by about 15 percent since 1980. Yagan will study whether out-migration is, in fact, a channel via which people respond to and solve for local economic shocks by examining whether people move from low opportunity areas to areas with good job prospects, rather than to areas with similarly poor job prospects. A key condition for out-migration to be an actual solution to concentrated and intergenerational economic distress is whether there are better economic conditions in the new location.

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