Return and Onward Interprovincial Migration through Economic Boom and Bust in Canada, from 1976–81 to 1981–86

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Abstract

This paper applies a three-level nested logit model to the micro data of the 1981 and 1986 Canadian census to study the effects of personal factors and provincial attributes on the interprovincial migration patterns of the non-native young adults (aged 20–44) through the economic boom of 1976–81 and the economic bust of 1981–86. We found strong evidence that through both boom and bust periods, both return and onward migrations were in the “right” direction, in that they responded to economic variables in a rational way. However, the large proportion of migrants choosing to make a return migration indicates the importance of the province of birth in the mental map of the potential migrants. We also found that the selectivities in the migration behaviors with respect to certain personal factors (especially education) remained basically the same through both boom and bust periods.

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