Divergence in Internal Migration Trends: A Multi-Country Panel Approach to Bilateral Regional Flows

Maximiliano Alvarez , The University of Queensland
Aude Bernard , University of Queensland
Scott N. Lieske, The University of Queensland

Considerable research has explored the internal migration decline in the United States and, to a lesser extent, the declines in Australia and Canada. On the other hand, the increasing internal migration trends of several European countries have received little attention. The few works addressing this divergence undertake a national approach rendering a partial understanding of this phenomenon. This paper aims to complement previous endeavours to explain these heterogeneous trends by depicting the time trajectories of the bilateral internal migration flows and associated regional economic and socio-demographic transformations, thus encompassing further variations of the overall internal migration trends. To meet this aim, we assemble annual bilateral internal migration and regional economic and socio-demographic data for five European countries - Austria, Finland, Italy, Spain, Sweden - and three non-European countries - Australia, Canada and the United States, for 2003-2019 in most countries. We estimate long-run relationships between bilateral interregional migration flows and the regional factors through heterogeneous dynamic panel regressions that account for cross-sectional dependence and, thus, deal with multilateral resistance to migration. Among other novelties, we include regional physical capital as a regressor, which has been surprisingly overlooked in the literature of determinants of internal migration despite its importance to labour productivity, and the housing interest rate as an observable common factor, due to its relevance not only to the housing market but also to control for common circumstances.

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 Presented in Session 51. Recent trends of internal migration