IZA DP No. 12051: In-State College Enrollment and Later Life Location Decisions
published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2020, 55 (4), 1400-1426
State and local policymakers are very interested in how attending college in one's home state affects the likelihood of living in that state after college. This paper uses cohort-level data from the American Community Survey, decennial censuses, and other sources to examine how birth-state college enrollment affects birth-state residence several years later. Ordinary least squares and instrumental variables estimates both suggest a statistically significant positive relationship. The preferred instrumental variable estimates suggest that a one percentage point increase in birth-state enrollment rates increases later life birth-state residence by roughly 0.41 percentage points. Implications for policy are discussed.