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Abstract

California has experienced a net loss of domestic migrants within the United States every year since 1990. This reversal from California’s traditional attraction to migrants has been attributed to numerous causes including the high cost of housing, the cyclical downturn in business activity, and a decline in the level of amenities and quality of life that drew thou-sands of migrants to California each year over several decades. This paper uses Internal Rev-enue Service county migration data to examine outmigration flows and assesses the influences of proximity and urban classification on migration flows. Simple and augmented gravity models investigate distance and population effects, finding surprisingly little effect of economic variables but significant differences among counties in the roles of distance and population.

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