Sunday, January 22, 2012

Falling Geographic Mobility in the US

I always suspected that this was the case, but here's some quantitative evidence: American internal migration rates have been falling fast, and they have now approached European levels, according to Molloy, Smith, and Wozniak. America could even have become less mobile than Europe since 2007:
Overall, the secular decline in geographic mobility appears to be specific to the U.S. experience, since internal mobility has neither fallen in most other European economies nor in Canada—with the United Kingdom as a notable exception. One caveat to this conclusion is that the publicly available European Labor Force Survey data extends only through 2007, so it is unknown how internal migration in Europe has compared to the U.S. experience during the most recent global downturn.

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