The other day our friend at Carpe Diem, Mark Perry, had an interesting blog post where he analyzed an assertion that many of us believe to be true; people vote with their feet.
Many conservatives believe the tax and business climate and overall prospects for economic growth to be significant factors when deciding to relocate. Others scoff at the claim and believe economic policies are only play a secondary role in such decisions.
To test these claims, Perry studied data from the top ten states for inbound and outbound moves He analyzed how states performed on a variety of tax burden, business climate, fiscal health and economic measures.
Why is this important to North Carolinians? Because – for several years now – North Carolina has had one of the highest rates of in-migration of the fifty states. Certainly, among the top ten states. In 2017, according to North American Van Lines Migration report, North Carolina was tied for the 3rd highest in-migration rate with South Carolina, only behind Arizona and Idaho.
So, what did Perry find? He writes:
There is empirical evidence that Americans do “vote with their feet” when they relocate from one state to another, and the evidence suggests that Americans are moving from states that are relatively more economically stagnant, fiscally unhealthy states with higher tax burdens and unfriendly business climates with fewer economic and job opportunities, to fiscally sound states that are relatively more economically vibrant, dynamic and business-friendly, with lower tax and regulatory burdens and more economic and job opportunities.
Common sense to many who move and a message policymakers need to hear.