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Political Environment and US Domestic Migration

Selcuk Eren () and Andrew W. Nutting ()
Additional contact information
Selcuk Eren: New York City Comptroller’s Office
Andrew W. Nutting: Bryn Mawr College

Eastern Economic Journal, 2020, vol. 46, issue 4, No 1, 525-556

Abstract: Abstract Using interest group ratings of Congressmen to proxy for political environment, we find that from 2005 to 2010 college graduates aged 25–40 moved to MSAs that were more economically conservative but socially liberal than their Origin MSAs and the national average MSA. Results for college graduates aged 41–60 were similar but weaker. Non-college graduates of both age groups migrated away from more conservative MSAs. Some state-level policy and MSA-level labor market controls capture much of younger college graduates’ migration toward economic conservatism, but less of that toward social liberalism, especially among the unmarried and childless. Younger college graduates migrated to socially liberal enclaves in conservative states. This geographic sorting by political orientation may have contributed to our current political polarization.

Keywords: Migration; Political environment; State policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J61 H70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1057/s41302-020-00174-4

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