Modeling the influence of natural amenities on recent trends in U.S. population migration
Santos, Florence Ivy Mamburam
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The study investigates how natural amenities such as landscape and climate influence migration pattern in the continental US between 1990 to 2007 while controlling for employment, income and other factors using a panel data. Using the recent annual climate, land use and natural amenities data, along with the recent annual economic and Census migration data at the county level to investigate this relationship, we estimated a model for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties in the US using four approaches – fixed effects, random effects, Hausman-Taylor and Fixed Effects Vector Decomposition (FEVD). The results suggest significantly strong influence of natural amenities in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan migration. Overall, policies designed to increase migration should take into account both economic and non-economic drivers that come to play in both rural and urban migration trends.