Migration in Arctic Alaska: Empirical evidence of the stepping stones hypothesis
Authors: Lance Howe, Lee Huskey, and Matthew Berman
This article tests for hierarchical migration patterns using data from the Alaskan Arctic. We focus on migration of Iñupiat people, who are indigenous to the region, and explore the role of income and subsistence harvests in the migration choice. Evaluating confidential microdata from the US Census Bureau’s 2000 Decennial Census of Population and Income with a mixed multinomial and conditional logit model we find evidence of step-wise migration up and down an urban and rural hierarchy, results that are consistent with Ravenstein’s (1885) early hypothesis of step-wise migration. We also find that where migrants choose to move is a function of place, personal, and household characteristics.
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