Individual Social Capital and Migration

Julie L. Hotchkiss and Anil Rupasingha

Working Paper 2018-3
March 2018

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This paper determines how individual, relative to community, social capital affects individual migration decisions. We make use of nonpublic data from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey to predict multidimensional social capital for observations in the Current Population Survey. We find evidence that individuals are much less likely to have moved to a community with average social capital levels lower than their own and that higher levels of community social capital act as positive pull-factor amenities. The importance of that amenity differs across urban/rural locations. We also confirm that higher individual social capital is a negative predictor of migration.

JEL classification: R23, D71, C36, C38

Key words: social capital, migration, Current Population Survey, amenities, nonpublic data, factor analysis

https://doi.org/10.29338/wp2018-3


 
Comments and suggestions from Jeffrey Lin, Peter Meuser, participants at the FSRDC UCLA Research Conference, and colleagues at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta are appreciated. Research assistance from Kalee Burns, Augustine Denteh, and Tom Zichong Qu is also appreciated. The views and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors' and not necessarily those of the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Economic Research Service. All results have been reviewed to ensure that no confidential information is disclosed. The authors have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.
Please address questions regarding content to Julie L. Hotchkiss (contact author), Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Georgia State University, Research Department, 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309-4470, 404-498-8198, julie.l.hotchkiss@atl.frb.org or Anil Rupasingha, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mail Stop 1800, Washington, DC 20024, 202-694-5227, anil.rupasingha@ers.usda.gov.
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