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Out-migration from the epicenters of the housing bubble burst during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession in the USA

Jaewon Lim ()
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Jaewon Lim: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The Annals of Regional Science, 2017, vol. 59, issue 2, 297-319

Abstract: Abstract During the Great Recession in the USA, the four Sand States—Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada—suffered from plunging home prices, massive layoffs and much slower population growth. Some metro areas in these states experienced the unprecedented net loss of population with increasing out-migration. Were the devastating labor market conditions in these four Sand States strong enough to force out a massive number of migrants to other states? Using multinomial logit models, this paper finds that the labor market status of an individual (part-time worker, unemployed and not in labor force) serves as an important factor for out-migration decision during a recession. The pushing effects of labor market status among the at-risk population in devastated labor markets are the largest for movers to intrastate destinations beyond metropolitan borders. The effects of labor market status for interstate out-migration are still significant but largely limited, due to higher moving costs and growing uncertainty. For the at-risk population with lower socioeconomic status, depressing labor market status triggers speculative migration; however, the speculative behavior among the overall at-risk population continuously slowed during the Great Recession, as the rather risk-aversive “wait and see” attitude had increased.

JEL-codes: J61 O15 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0832-7