A multi-disciplinary interpretation of migration: Amenity capitalization in both land and labor markets

Philip E. Graves, Robert L. Sexton, Thomas A. Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Various disciplines have produced models to explain and predict human migration. A model is presented providing a taxonomy through which interdisciplinary insights can be synthesized. The imperfect information view emphasizes the role of wage differentials as representing arbitragible real utility differentials. The perfect information approach holds that wage and rent differentials are compensating differentials, eliminating real utility variation over space. Moreover, markets compress diverse aspects of spatial variation in welfare, otherwise difficult to quantify, into compensating wage and rent differentials. Rents tend to capitalize the variation in a host of amenities, thereby substantially reducing the need for a potential migrant to discover and weight the importance of various amenities. Empirical results are presented which support the latter equilibrium view. Amenities, as proxied by rents, are superior goods, as indicated by net movements toward high rent locations. This suggests the increasing relative importance of amenities as a determinant of migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalThe Annals of Regional Science
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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