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Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel


We introduce and provide the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) as a valuable and underutilized data set for studying internal migration within the United States. Relative to other data sources on US internal migration, the CCP permits highly detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of migration, both temporally and geographically. We compare cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of migration from the CCP to similar estimates derived from the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, Internal Revenue Service data, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Our results establish the comparative utility and illustrate some of the unique advantages of the CCP relative to other data sources on US internal migration. We conclude by identifying some profitable directions for future research on US internal migration using the CCP, as well as reminding readers of the strengths and limitations of these data. More broadly, this paper contributes to discussions and debates on improving the availability, quality, and comparability of migration data.

JEL Codes: R23, C81, O15, J61, C55.
Keywords: Internal migration, Consumer Credit Panel, Comparative, Cross-sectional, Longitudinal.


Suggested citation: DeWaard, Jack, Janna E. Johnson, Stephan D. Whitaker, 2018. “Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 18-04r. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201804r.

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