The role of intergenerational mobility in internal migration

Jun Sung Kim, Jongkwan Lee

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8 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the role of intergenerational mobility in the internal migration decisions of families. The geographic variation in intergenerational mobility suggests that if parents value their children's human capital accumulation and future outcomes, they would have an incentive to move to areas with a higher upward mobility. To identify the effect of intergenerational mobility on family migration, we first use an instrumental variable approach, based on a heteroskedastic covariance restriction, which addresses measurement-error and omitted-variable biases. Then, we apply the semiparametric maximum score estimation method to our empirical model, which yields a consistent estimator when families' choice sets are partially observed. We find that highly educated families with school-aged children choose areas that favor upward mobility. Our welfare analysis indicates that a unit increase in the absolute upward mobility of a commuting zone is equivalent to approximately a $722 higher mean wage in the local labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Modelling
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Commuting zones
  • Intergenerational mobility
  • Internal migration
  • Location choice
  • Semiparametric multinomial choice model


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