How to have your cake and eat it too? On the housing market, labour mobility, and their effects on the community and wider economic vitality

Home ownership has been encouraged and heavily subsidized over the last few decades, at least in the US. Yet  sociologists still point to high migration rates as one of the root causes of America’s increasingly balkanized, boorish culture of belligerence.

Since labour mobility is associated with economic flexibility and vitality, an increase in home ownership has said to have a dragging effect on growth, if ever so slightly.  Now that home values have suffered precipitous drops in many regions, labour flexibility is further restricted.

Since the recession commenced, internal migration within the US has slowed down substantially. As the Economist reports, 11.9% of Americans moved house between 07 and 08. That is the lowest on record since the 40s. Worries over health insurance further compounds mobility decisions, leading to more labour market rigidity.

Would a forced halt in economic-driven migration be conducive to community building, or would it merely exert more pressure on already fragile and superficial bonds?

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