Migration from Distressed Areas

Its Meaning for Regional Policy

by Peter A. Morrison

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Examines how migration restores labor market balance, and how it affects people who leave distressed areas and people who remain. Migrants usually benefit even though they often base their moves on poor information and ignorance of their alternatives. A sizable reservoir of would-be migrants passes up the same opportunity. For each person who migrates, two persons expect to migrate and four say they would like to. Migration also benefits growing areas as it draws away productive human capital from distressed areas. The findings suggest that a national program of assisted migration for unemployed and low-income workers could be an important complement to traditional area-oriented policies, which seek to create jobs, stimulate development, and deliver services in distressed areas. Relocation assistance has already proven to be an effective aid for the unemployed, and it promotes a more efficient allocation of the labor force.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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