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Home is where the history is: How today's migration in Germany is shaped by regional identity

Anna Kremer

Journal of Regional Science, 2022, vol. 62, issue 2, 604-638

Abstract: People are emotionally attached to places and make economic decisions accordingly. I, therefore, study the effect of regional identity on internal migration flows in Germany between 1995 and 2017. Regional identity is proxied by measuring the historical affiliation of NUTS3 regions in the former patchwork of German states. I confirm that historical affiliation determines migration patterns and control for the influence of distance, culture (measured by dialects) and regional characteristics in a gravity model. Exploiting the separation effect of the Berlin Wall confirms that regional identity has a stronger impact on movements than previous migration or family bonds.

Date: 2022
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