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Working Paper
Individual Social Capital and Migration

This paper determines how individual, relative to community, social capital affects individual migration decisions. We make use of nonpublic data from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey to predict multidimensional social capital for observations in the Current Population Survey. We find evidence that individuals are much less likely to have moved to a community with average social capital levels lower than their own and that higher levels of community social capital act as positive pull-factor amenities. The importance of that amenity differs across urban/rural locations. We also ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-3

Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments

The direct benefits of infrastructure in developing countries can be large, but if new infrastructure induces in-migration, congestion of other local publicly provided goods may offset the direct benefits. Using the example of rural household electrification in South Africa, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for migration when evaluating welfare gains of spatial programs. We also provide a practical approach to computing welfare gains that does not rely on land prices. We develop a location choice model that incorporates missing land markets and allows for congestion in local land. ...
Staff Report , Paper 506

Journal Article
A Welcome for the Talented

Book Review of "The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy & Society" By William R. Kerr, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2019, 237 Pages
Econ Focus , Issue 4Q , Pages 27-27

Working Paper
In-migration and Dilution of Community Social Capital

Consistent with predictions from the literature, we find that higher levels of in-migration dilute multiple dimensions of a community's level of social capital. The analysis employs a 2SLS methodology to account for potential endogeneity of migration.
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-5

Spatial Wage Gaps and Frictional Labor Markets

We develop a job-ladder model with labor reallocation across firms and space, which we design to leverage matched employer-employee data to study differences in wages and labor productivity across regions. We apply our framework to data from Germany: twenty-five years after the reunification, real wages in the East are still 26 percent lower than those in the West. We find that 60 percent of the wage gap is due to labor being paid a higher wage per efficiency unit in West Germany, and quantify three distinct barriers that prevent East Germans from migrating west to obtain a higher wage: ...
Staff Reports , Paper 898

Working Paper
The Evolution of Local Labor Markets After Recessions

This paper studies how U.S. local labor markets respond to employment losses after recessions. Following each recession between 1973 and 2009, we find that areas that lose more jobs during the recession experience persistent relative declines in employment and population. Most importantly and contrary to prior work, these local labor markets also experience persistent decreases in the employment-population ratio and per capita earnings. Our results imply that limited population responses result in longer-lasting consequences for local labor markets than previously thought, and that recessions ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-16

Geographical reallocation and unemployment during the Great Recession: the role of the housing bust

This paper quantitatively evaluates the hypothesis that the housing bust in 2007 decreased geographical reallocation and increased the dispersion and level of unemployment during the Great Recession. We construct an equilibrium model of multiple locations with frictional housing and labor markets. When house prices fall, the amount of home equity declines, making it harder for homeowners to afford the down payment on a new house after moving. Consequently, the decline in house prices reduces migration and causes unemployment to rise differently in different locations. The model accounts for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 605

Working Paper
Interregional Migration and Housing Vacancy: Theory and Empirics

We examine homeowner vacancy rate interdependencies over time and space through the channel of migration. Our theoretical analysis extends the Wheaton (1990) search and matching model for housing by incorporating interregional spillovers due to some households’ desires to migrate between regions and by allowing for regime-switching behavior. Our empirical analysis of vacancy rates for the entire U.S. and for Census regions provides visual evidence for the possibility of regime-switching behavior. We explicitly test our model by estimating basic Vector Autoregression (VAR) and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-007

Working Paper
Public Debt, Private Pain: Regional Borrowing, Default, and Migration

Working Paper , Paper 21-13

Journal Article
An Analysis of African American Interstate Migration to Iowa

There are many motivations for family moves to other states. New jobs, lower crime rates and better schools are a few. A common rumor in Iowa is that many low-income blacks are relocating to the state from communities in Illinois, Wisconsin and elsewhere to take advantage of the state's generous welfare benefits. This article attempts to explore that assumption by clarifying who is moving to Iowa and why. The conclusion, based on census data and a brief review of the literature, is that although perception belies reality, the reality is more nuanced than one might expect.
Profitwise , Issue 4 , Pages 33-37


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