NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by James R. Walker

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Working Papers

March 2003The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions
with John Kennan: w9585
The paper develops a tractable econometric model of optimal migration, focusing on expected income as the main economic influence on migration. The model improves on previous work in two respects: it covers optimal sequences of location decisions (rather than a single once-for-all choice), and it allows for many alternative location choices. The model is estimated using panel data from the NLSY on white males with a high school education. Our main conclusion is that interstate migration decisions are influenced to a substantial extent by income prospects. The results suggest that the link between income and migration decisions is driven both by geographic differences in mean wages and by a tendency to move in search of a better locational match when the income realization in the current lo...
October 1989Forecasting Aggregate Period Specific Birth Rates: The Time Series Properties of a Microdynamic Neoclassical Model of Fertility
with James J. Heckman: w3133
This article demonstrates the value of microdata for understanding the effect of wages on life cycle fertility dynamics. Conventional estimates of neoclassical economic fertility models obtained from linear aggregate time series regressions are widely criticized for being nonrobust when adjusted for serial correlation. Moreover, the forecasting power of these aggregative neoclassical models has been shown to be inferior when compared with conventional time series models that assign no role to wages. This article demonstrates, that when neoclassical models of fertility are estimated on microdata using methods that incorporate key demographic restrictions and when they are properly aggregated, they have considerable forecasting power.

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