Faculty Research on Housing Costs and Moving Trends Featured in The Atlantic

Faculty Research on Housing Costs and Moving Trends Featured in The Atlantic

Posted 10.24.17

It was once common for Americans to relocate for better opportunities. Our nation’s history is filled with migration booms, from the Gold Rush to the Great Depression.

However, research by Weatherhead School of Management’s Daniel Shoag, visiting associate professor of economics, and Peter Ganong an economist at the University of Chicago shows this trend has drastically slowed in recent years. Their working paper is referenced in The Atlantic’s recent article, “The Barriers Stopping Poor People from Moving to Better Jobs.” The article is excerpted below:

[Ganong and Shoag] find that though janitors still earn more in the tri-state area than in the Deep South, the move no longer presents an obvious opportunity because the costs of living in New York have gotten so high. Janitors in the New York area now spend on average 52 percent of their incomes on housing, the authors find, compared to lawyers, who spend just 21 percent of their incomes on rent. Their research finds that because of these factors, the migration patterns for low-income households are beginning to diverge from the migration patterns from high-income households for the first time in American history. High-skill workers are still moving to places that offer them high incomes, but now, low-skill workers are moving away from places where average wages are high.

Read the full article in The Atlantic.


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