An empirical test of the restrictions in a net migration equation

Thomas A Perrigo, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This paper is an empirical study of the spatial neutrality of economic incentives and the equivalency of push-pull factors of net migration into Clark County, Nevada. These issues are examined in the context of the Economic-Demographic Forecasting and Simulation Model developed by Regional Economic Modeling Incorporated. Specifically, two implicit assumptions found in the net migration equation in the REMI model are tested; First, a test is performed to determine if pooling migration data across regions is appropriate. That is, are potential migrants in nearby areas more responsive to differentials in expected income than potential migrants in more distant areas?;The results of this first test suggests that pooling migration data across regions is imposing restrictions that weakens the explanatory power of the model; Second, we test whether net migration into Clark County is influenced more by changes in expected income in Clark County, or by changes in expected income in the region of origin; The results of the push/pull tests provide evidence that the relative strength of push and pull factors as determinants of migration do differ. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).