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Migration and the Internet

Thomas John Cooke, Ian Shuttleworth

Abstract

It is widely presumed that information and communication technologies, or ICTs, enable migration in several ways; primarily by reducing the costs of migration. However, a reconsideration of the relationship between ICTs and migration suggests that ICTs may just as well hinder migration; primarily by reducing the costs of not moving.  Using data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics, models that control for sources of observed and unobserved heterogeneity indicate a strong negative effect of ICT use on inter-state migration within the United States. These results help to explain the long-term decline in internal migration within the United States.

Keywords

Migration; ICTs; Rootedness; Internet; Mobility

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