Panel: The Role of Residential Mobility in Housing and Labor Markets: New Evidence from Geographically Precise Individual-Level Data
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Thursday, November 8, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Coolidge - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Jaclene Begley, Fannie Mae
Discussants:  Samuel Dastrup, Abt Associates, Inc. and Devin Bunten, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Migration out of Low-Demand Areas: Who Leaves and Where Do They Go?
Raven Molloy and Christopher L. Smith, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Diverging Patterns in Geographic Mobility: Are Rental Housing Markets Driving Recent Trends?
Sewin Chan1, Katherine O'Regan1 and Wei You1,2, (1)New York University, (2)Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy

How Does Gentrification Occur? New Evidence from Cross-Neighborhood Migration
Quentin Brummet, NORC at University of Chicago and Davin Reed, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

The New Housing Crisis: Gentrification and Residential Instability in the Bay Area, 2009-2017
Jackelyn Hwang, Stanford University and Bina Shrimali, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Housing and neighborhoods are at the center of people’s lives, yet much is still unknown about how and why individuals move between houses and neighborhoods. Moreover, these individual-level mobility decisions are both affected by and give rise to important aggregate housing and labor market trends such as gentrification and adjustment to labor demand. This panel brings together four papers that construct geographically precise, individual-level data sets to improve our understanding of residential mobility and its role in housing and labor markets.


The first paper, by Chan, O’Regan, and You, connects two trends observed in residential moves: (i) the decline in internal migration and its responsiveness to labor demand shocks, even among young adults who have historically been the most mobile, and (ii) the increased share of young adults co-residing with parents.  While both literatures on these phenomena have framed migration or coresidence as a buffer against labor market and housing market risk, there is essentially no research that pulls these two together. Using data from the ACS and PSID, this paper connects these literatures, considering both independent and co- residing residential options for various migration and household formation decisions of young adults.


The second paper, by Molloy and Smith, explores how the general decline in long-distance residential mobility may be making it more difficult for individuals to move out of economically declining areas. They use annual migration data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) to explore migration patterns out of high- and low-demand metropolitan areas and how these patterns differ by individual demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.


The third paper, by Brummet and Reed, focuses on residential mobility across neighborhoods in the context of gentrification. They use pilot Census Bureau data to construct a national panel of millions of individuals in both 2000 and 2010-2014. They first decompose aggregate neighborhood increases in education and income levels into the in-migration and out-migration of different types of individuals. They then construct transition matrices showing the probability that individuals beginning in one type of neighborhood move to other types of neighborhoods. Finally, they estimate standard migration models to test whether individuals making different types of moves are positively or negatively selected by education or income levels.


The fourth paper, by Hwang and Shrimali, focuses on residential mobility, rising housing costs, and gentrification in the Bay Area. Because of its booming housing and labor markets, this setting could pose unique challenges to lower income renter households. They use Consumer Credit Panel CCP data to follow individuals annually to understand how variation in gentrification across neighborhoods may be affecting their locations, credit delinquency, and access to homeownership.


Together, these four papers leverage various geographically precise, individual-level data sources to construct rich new measures of residential mobility that improve our understanding of who moves, to where, why, and how these individual mobility decisions give rise to policy relevant aggregate phenomena such as gentrification and labor market adjustment.