The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Blacks in the United States have a lower geographic mobility rates than whites even though they have several characteristics that are usually associated with high rates of mobility: high unemployment, low rate of home ownership, low marriage rate and settlement in areas where unemployment is high. This paper tests the relevance of family ties in explaining mobility by using proxies that are constructed using data from the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics, covering the period 1977–88. The results are robust to different specifications and estimation techniques, and explain the puzzle of the role played by the nuclear and the extended family in the decision to move.