Locus of control and internal migration

22 September 2021

We model migration across domestic labor markets (internal migration) as the outcome of a job search process in which job seekers form subjective beliefs about the return search effort that are related to their locus of control. Job seekers with an internal locus of control are predicted to search across larger geographic areas and migrate more frequently as a result. We empirically test the relationship between locus of control and the propensity to migrate using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). We find that not only do individuals with an internal locus of control express more willingness to migrate, they do in fact also migrate more often.