650 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Spring 2017 METRANS Research Seminar

Presented by Gary Painter Professor of Public Policy, USC Price School of Public Policy Director of Social Policy, USC Price Center for Social Innovation

This event is jointly sponsored by the USC Price School International Public Policy and Management Program.

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Abstract: People in the United States are among the most mobile in the world—annual internal migration rates were close to 20 percent from 1947-1983. However, this rate has steadily fallen, reaching a low of 13 percent in recent years. Curiously, that decline has manifested itself across all demographic subgroups of the US population, including divisions by age and citizenship status. Regardless of the debate surrounding the most recent changes, understanding the determinants, magnitudes, and characteristics of the decline in inter- and intra-urban mobility is important for urban transportation planning and policy. This research explores factors that could help explain the decline, empirically analyzes effects of the decline on metropolitan travel, and discusses broad implications for future transportation planning and decision-making. If geographical stability of populations is primarily driven by factors unrelated to their references/affinities for particular urban built and transportation environments, planners can more confidently attempt at influencing travel behaviors and patterns using integrated land use-transportation-pricing tools. The stability also simplifies demand analyses/ assessments and facilitates targeted investment decisions that potentially carry fewer risks than in the past.

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