An in-depth analysis of the impact of interprovincial differences in the generosity of public policies on internal migration in Canada.
Given Canada's vast geography and uneven distribution of economic activity, almost all Canadians have at one time or another faced the question of whether an interprovincial move would make them better off.
Using a unique dataset based on income tax records, authors Kathleen Day and Stanley Winer examine the factors influencing the decision to migrate within Canada, paying special attention to the role of regional variation in the generosity of public policies including unemployment insurance, taxation, and public expenditure. The influence of extraordinary events such as the election of a separatist government in Quebec and the closure of the east coast cod fishery is also considered. They look at why we ought to be concerned about public policies that interfere with market-based incentives to move, provide a wealth of information on interregional differences in public policies and market conditions, and examine what other researchers have discovered about fiscally induced migration, culminating in a discussion of the likely impact of various policy changes on migration and provincial unemployment rates.
The authors' assessment of the lessons to be learned from their own and past research on policy-induced migration in Canada will be of interest to students of migration and policy makers alike.