Migration, housing and regional disparities: A gravity model of inter-regional migration with an application to selected OECD countries

Inter-regional migration – the movements of the population from one region to another within the same country – can be an important mechanism of spatial economic adjustment, affecting regional demographic and growth patterns. This paper examines the economic and housing-related factors that affect the decision of people to migrate to another region within the same country, drawing empirical evidence from country-specific gravity models of inter-regional migration for 14 OECD countries. The results suggest that inter-regional migrants move in search of higher income and better employment opportunities, but are discouraged by high housing costs. In particular, house prices are found to be an important barrier to migration, especially in countries having experienced strong increases in the level and cross-regional dispersion of house prices. There is however large heterogeneity across countries in terms of what factors matter the most and in terms of the magnitude of the migration response.

Available from December 01, 2021

In series:OECD Economics Department Working Papersview more titles