Looking to Help the Economy? Make a Move!

Make a Move! For the Good of the Nation!

Worried about an making a move? We don’t blame you. A move, as much as any big change, can be a very stressful event. But, the more often people do it, the better the economy is, at least according to some economists who spoke to the New York Times last year about the benefits of a population on the move.

There are a few reasons for this. First of all, uprooting yourself from the only home you (and potentially your parents and grandparents) have always known is a big risk. How will you adjust to new climate, a new culture, a new group of friends and daily activities? What if you don’t like the food in your new home? What if you’ve never dealt with snow? With so many factors against moving, people doing it anyway is evidence that relocation is, in fact, worth the risk.

More broadly, the argument goes, moving means that there is a clear method of moving up on the social ladder. It means that there is enough housing in one place to accommodate newcomers. It means there are also jobs in that place to allow those new residents to afford the available housing. Over time, the surplus housing in the places people have left will bring down rents and home ownership costs enough to entice a new generation of people to move there.

The Cultural Benefits of Turnover

Intranational migration also regenerates, instead of affirming, geographic identity. For example, in an international city such as Boston, residents are less connected by the city’s history than by it’s day-to-day life. This makes sense. So many people in the city come from so many different places around the state, around the country, and around the world. When we talk to a stranger or a new co-worker, we talk about the MBTA, the best new restaurants in Cambridge, and Kyrie Irving. We don’t talk about the Boston Massacre. We don’t talk about who your parents are.

Also, there are downsides to a geographically entrenched population. When economic options dry up, and there’s no clear way for an individual get out of it, there becomes little incentive for new construction of the kinds of investments that create jobs. (And, considering our current political climate, it should be fairly obvious what can happen when people overwhelmingly, either through self-selection or through a lack of other options, live and work exclusively among other people with whom they share a location, history, and general outlook on the world.)

According to American Public Media’s Marketplace.org, the decline in geographic movement within the U.S. is a result of a similar decline in movement between jobs. And that’s a decline which could have its own similar negative effects.

Of course, a population that moves around is often more of a symptom than a catalyst of a healthy economy. Very few of us move just for the fun of it. But it might be worth remembering that, when you’re struggling bring your antique dresser down a winding staircase (or hiring movers to do it for you), that you’re building a better economy for us all.

Ready to achieve the American Dream? Hire Boston’s Best Movers Today!