Making Moves or Making it Work? Compositional Differences and Economic Outcomes of Inter and Intra-Regional Movers in High Cost Housing Markets

Authors: Max Buchholz*, University of Toronto
Topics: Economic Geography, Migration, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: migration, mobility, housing, economic opportunity, inequality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Calvert Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Across the United States, sharp increases in housing costs in many of the most dynamic cities have become a major topic of popular and scholarly concern. While these regional economies are clearly engines of prosperity and socioeconomic mobility for some, they appear to also create unique challenges for other residents. This problem is acutely felt in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and New York, where policymakers are struggling to keep pace with rising housing costs. Research has attempted to make links between patterns of migration and housing costs, and has highlighted the general composition of out-migrants from these cities. Less is known however about the compositional differences between people who move out of an urban area altogether, and those who move within an urban area to access lower cost of living in an effort to "make it work." In order to study these differences, I zero-in on the aforementioned cities as cases. Using micro data, I first describe the overall geographic trends of individuals’ intra and inter-regional residential moves. I then conduct regression analysis to determine what demographic characteristics predict whether households make an intra or inter-regional move. Finally, I examine how these population shifts might affect migrants' short and long-term socioeconomic outcomes.

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