Published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. By Alesssandra Faggian, Rose Olfert, and Mark D. Partridge
Abstract: Individuals reveal their preferences for alternative locations as they ‘vote with their feet’. Persistent positive net migration indicates that on net, individuals expect their well-being, based on both economic and non-economic factors, to be greater in the destination region compared with the origin. Other measures of well-being are highly subjective either because they rely on surveys or because they aggregate quasi-objective measures using subjective weights. We show key relationships between population change and two key determinants—local natural amenities and per capita incomes, finding that revealed preference measures are likely more reflective of well-being in North America than in Europe.