A Comment on Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey".

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    • Abstract:
      In this article, the authors present their comments on the article titled "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," written by Michael J. Greenwood, published in an earlier issue of "Journal of Economic Literature," as of September 1976. According to the authors, Greenwood fails to consider an interesting, important and relatively unexplored issue in human migration, namely return of migrants to their region of origin. For the most part, as Greenwood's article suggests, economists have treated internal human migration as if it were once-and-for-all. The objective of this article is to shed some light on the issue of return migration. A substantial proportion of gross migrational flows between regions consists of those who are returning to regions in which they previously lived. Unfortunately, census data, which measure only gross migrational flows, are inadequate to identify return migrants clearly. Defining a return migrant as an individual who migrates into the Southeast after having been previously employed in the Southeast, the author found that the number of individuals who return to the Southeast within two years after out-migration varies between 22 percent and 34 percent, depending on the year examined. Given the quantitative importance of return migration, the article ascertains any personal and labor-market differences that might exist between non-return and return migrants.