This paper reviews Shaw's book, INTERMETROPOLITAN MIGRATION IN CANADA, which provides new evidence concerning the link between fiscal structure and internal migration. Shaw bases his work on a valuable new migration series he has put together from census data: intermetropolitan flows from 1956-1981. The existence of censua data at 5-year intervals permits Shaw enough data to estimate migration equations separately for the periods before and after 1971. A comparison of the role of fiscal variables before and after 1971 is interesting because unemployment insurance, equalization payments, and provincial natural resource revenues probably became more important in determining regional differences in incomes after 1971 than in the 20 years prior to that. Shaw suspects that migration behavior has become less sensitive to traditional market variables such as wage differentials and more sensitive to other factors, including quality of life indicators since 1950. The author thinks that Shaw's conclusion cannot rest comfortably on estimating equations that omit fiscal variables. The overall role of wage differentials in determining observed migration patterns is the product of the coefficient on wage variables and the actual evolution of wages over the estimation period. Another problem with the methodology used to contrast pre- and post-1971 migration equations is the apparent neglect of statistical testing for shifts in coefficients on the traditional economic variables and for shifts in the coefficients on the fiscal variables. The strongest of the useful results from the study concern the role of unemployment insurance. The evidence that these have an influence on internal migration is now compelling. Shaw's book adds substantial weight to the view that variation in fiscal structure plays a significant role in determining internal migration patterns.

The Canadian journal of regional science = La revue canadienne des sciences regionales
Department of Economics

Winer, S. (1986). Challenging issues in the study of fiscally-induced migration. The Canadian journal of regional science = La revue canadienne des sciences regionales, 9(3), 382–387.