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Abstract:

cover
CEP Discussion Paper
Residential Mobility and Unemployment in the UK
Monica Langella and Alan Manning
July 2019
Paper No' CEPDP1639:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: Z1; J01; R10; J21


Tags: residential mobility; regional inequality; unemployment

The UK has suffered from persistent spatial differences in unemployment rates for many decades. A low responsiveness of internal migration to unemployment is often argued to be an important cause of this problem. This paper uses UK census data to investigate how unemployment affects residential mobility using very small areas as potential destinations and origins and four decades of data. It finds that both in- and out-migration are affected by unemployment, although the effect on in-migration appears to be stronger - but also that there is a very high ‘cost of distance’ so most moves are very local. Using individual longitudinal data we show that the young and the better educated have a lower cost of distance but that sensitivity to unemployment shows much less variability across groups.