Heart-strings and Economic Gravity: Migration in Canada’s Local Health Regions

                                     by

 ...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity ii


AUTHOR'S DECLARATION

I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this research ...
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                                           Abstract


This research seeks to ext...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity iv



                                    Acknowledgements


This research paper should...
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                                                            Table of Contents


Ab...
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   Cross Correlations................................................................
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                                                              List of Tables


T...
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                                                               List of Figures
...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 1


     Heart-strings and Economic Gravity: Migration in Canada’s Local Health Regions...
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theories of migration. House, White and Ripley (1990) studied two outport Newfoundl...
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                            Place Becomes Unattractive

                           ...
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Interdisciplinary dialogue (see Halfacree, 2004) is revealing that migration decisi...
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       This research seeks to extend the current understanding of migration behavio...
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                                 Chapter 2 - Research Context


Migration Theory: ...
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       There is something strange about the way we study migration. We know, often ...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 8


A unique combination of moorings becomes salient for each individual at a particula...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 9


(1976), for example, reviewed literature testing Maslow’s hierarchy. They were unab...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 10


creative people. Governments and communities in Canada became acutely aware of thi...
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move or do not move). This probability can be tested for the influence of a number...
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       and Labrador have net out-migration. Migration has little overall effect on...
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2004, 243). Three key migrant groups gravitate toward urban areas and away from ru...
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       The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (2002) has found that ne...
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       The economic motivation is much clearer, and it is grounded in a startling ...
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coastal communities on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland: Anchor Point ...
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           As veterans of urban-industrial Canada, having tasted the ‘modern life’...
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Social Capital Theory and Migration

       Social capital is not a panacea for tr...
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       Other preliminary research validates the idea that social capital is a valu...
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Local Response Strategies

       New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna was the firs...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 21


forced to leave Newfoundland after graduation in order to repay their debt (Govern...
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         The Colchester Regional Development Agency in Truro, Nova Scotia, does th...
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                               Chapter 3 - Research Procedure


Data Sources

    ...
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tangible support and a measure of positive social interaction (Statistics Canada, ...
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health region that encompasses the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. This
...
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A basic “cohort survival estimation”2 (see Newkirk, 2002) was combined with the “m...
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           These estimates (M) were calculated for the cohorts identified in Table...
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voluntary organizations, participation in social activities, and sense of belongin...
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                                            Summary of Values (all health regions)...
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                                                 Summary of Values (all health reg...
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a low household income6. Another measure of low income was available in CANSIM Tab...
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                                           Summary of Values (all health regions)
...
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                                               Summary of Values (all health regio...
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regions, and a set of rural health regions (those with more than 50% of their popu...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 35


age cohorts (70+) were excluded. For those ages, survival rates are lowest and the...
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capital between American states. This study assumes that social capital operates a...
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                                      Chapter 4 - Results


Cross Correlations

 ...
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       Three social activities provide a second exception to the independence of t...
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Low Correlation Results

       Although “volunteer membership” is linked to “sens...
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Immigrants

       There is little evidence that general social factors play a str...
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other demographic cohorts as well. Because average personal income (r = 0.778) and...
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Children (Families)

       Like the immigrant cohort, migration for children (age...
Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 43


are most successful in attracting/retaining populations of children (hence, famili...
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Youth

        This section examines the results for three demographic cohorts: te...
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
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Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
Heartstrings and Economic Gravity
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Heartstrings and Economic Gravity

  1. 1. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity: Migration in Canada’s Local Health Regions by Ryan T. MacNeil A research paper presented to the University of Waterloo in fulfillment of the research paper requirement for the degree of Master of Applied Environmental Studies in Local Economic Development Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2006 © Ryan MacNeil 2006.
  2. 2. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity ii AUTHOR'S DECLARATION I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this research paper. I authorize the University of Waterloo to lend this research paper to other institutions or individuals for the purpose of scholarly research. I further authorize the University of Waterloo to reproduce this research paper by photocopying or by other means, in total or in part, at the request of other institutions or individuals for the purpose of scholarly research.
  3. 3. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity iii Abstract This research seeks to extend the current understanding of migration behaviour in Canada. It examines the effect of a community’s economic and social circumstances on its “migration success”. Four migrant cohorts are considered: youth, young families, immigrants and older migrants. The Canadian Community Health Survey (Statistics Canada, 2003) and Census Profiles of Health Regions (Statistics Canada, 2005b) provide the independent variables. The dependent variable (an estimate of the effect of regional net-migration) is calculated for each cohort in each health region, using a formula derived from the cohort survival (Newkirk, 2002) and migration by residual (Goetz, 2005) methods. Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient is used to find relationships in the data. The results do not confirm that social capital has an independent effect on migration. Instead, they reaffirm that migration is primarily an economically-motivated behaviour. However, migration decisions are clearly confounded by social considerations. Some migrants will trade off economic wealth for social ties, but economic income provides a foundation for these “higher order” needs. Community marketers can apply basic consumer behaviour principles to influence migration decisions. While social capital cannot completely replace economic prosperity, it can be a valuable tool for community economic development.
  4. 4. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity iv Acknowledgements This research paper should have been completed last August. But, as you will see, it has been a self-reflective exercise in balancing multiple motivations. In June, 2005, I was pleased to accept a position as a Development Officer at the Hants Regional Development Authority in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The opportunity came at a time when I should have been writing this paper, but I decided to put my money where my mouth is and migrate back to Atlantic Canada. The RDA’s Executive Director, Amy Melmock, and my colleagues Chantelle, Jacqueline, Karen, and Pat were very supportive as I undertook this writing in the rare spare time our profession affords. Amy graciously provided me with over a week of paid leave to write and present this paper (so that I might use vacation time for a real vacation sometime soon). This paper is the culmination of conversation and inspiration from Janet Larkman, Leslee Fredericks, Karen Blotnicky, Rick Gilbert, and others. Thank you to my advisor, Paul Parker, for his understanding of my extended timeline and for his own ex-patriot Bluenose perspective. Thanks also to Peter Hall, Jean Andrey and my colleagues in the LED program for ideas and perspectives that fed this work. My family has been so supportive, despite their difficulty explaining what I do and what I was writing about. I was delighted to delay this paper for a while when my niece, Emma Catherine MacNeil-Comeau, was born on February 28, 2006. She has been one of my “other” motivations. But my favourite distraction has been Amanda, my love. Thank you for listening, reading, calming me down, and kicking me in the “arse” when it came time to focus. Most of all, thank you for teaching me to slow down and choose a more balanced life.
  5. 5. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity v Table of Contents Abstract .........................................................................................................................................iii Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents........................................................................................................................... v List of Tables ................................................................................................................................ vii List of Figures ..............................................................................................................................viii Chapter 1 - Introduction ............................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 - Research Context ....................................................................................................... 6 Migration Theory: Cause & Effect ............................................................................................ 6 Migration in Canada .................................................................................................................. 9 Return Migration in Newfoundland....................................................................................... 15 Social Capital Theory and Migration...................................................................................... 18 Local Response Strategies ........................................................................................................ 20 Chapter 3 - Research Procedure ................................................................................................. 23 Data Sources ............................................................................................................................. 23 Population ................................................................................................................................ 24 Procedure ................................................................................................................................. 25 Limitations ............................................................................................................................... 34 Ethics Considerations .............................................................................................................. 36 Chapter 4 - Results....................................................................................................................... 37
  6. 6. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity vi Cross Correlations.................................................................................................................... 37 Low Correlation Results .......................................................................................................... 39 Immigrants ............................................................................................................................... 40 Children (Families) .................................................................................................................. 42 Youth ........................................................................................................................................ 44 Older Migrants......................................................................................................................... 47 Chapter 5 - Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 52 Seducing Migrants ................................................................................................................... 52 The Role of Economics ............................................................................................................ 52 A Hierarchy of Needs .............................................................................................................. 55 The Role of Social Capital ....................................................................................................... 57 Works Cited ................................................................................................................................. 59 Appendix - Health Regions ......................................................................................................... 62
  7. 7. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity vii List of Tables Table 1. Typical Moorings of Everyday Life ................................................................................ 7 Table 2. Cohorts of Interest......................................................................................................... 27 Table 3. Social Capital Indicator Variables................................................................................. 28 Table 4. Economic and Market-size Variables ........................................................................... 31 Table 5. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient Interpretation........................... 34 Table 6. Participation in tennis, basketball and soccer is higher in wealthy urban regions (r- values)................................................................................................................................... 38 Table 7. Variables with low correlation to migration success................................................... 39 Table 8. The Importance of Economics and Market-size for Four Migrant Cohorts. ............. 53
  8. 8. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity viii List of Figures Figure 1. Kotler, Haider and Rein (1993) summarize city decay dynamics. .............................. 3 Figure 2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs........................................................................................ 9 Figure 3. Immigrant Concentration and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values). ..................... 41 Figure 4. Migration Success (Children – Families) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values). ............................................................................................................................................... 43 Figure 5. Migration Success (Teenagers) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values)............... 46 Figure 6. Migration Success (Early-twenty-somethings) and Socio-economic Indicators (r- values)................................................................................................................................... 46 Figure 7. Migration Success (Late-twenty-somethings) and Socio-economic Indicators (r- values)................................................................................................................................... 47 Figure 8. Migration success (Early-downshifters) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values).48 Figure 9. Migration success (Late-downshifters) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values).. 48 Figure 10. Migration Success (Preretirement) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values)...... 49 Figure 11. Migration Success (Recently-retired) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values).. 49
  9. 9. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 1 Heart-strings and Economic Gravity: Migration in Canada’s Local Health Regions. Chapter 1 - Introduction Laughter is a pillar of the social construct on Canada’s east coast. Many self- depreciating anecdotes begin with the line: “A New Brunswicker, a Nova Scotian and a Newfoundlander were working on Bay Street in Toronto...” But there is a profound dichotomy in these jokes. On one hand, the process of joke sharing and story telling is representative of the tight-knit social fabric of Atlantic Canadian communities. On the other hand, these jokes often reflect the exodus of Atlantic Canadians to “the big city.” In the Atlantic region and beyond, there is a tug-of-war between economic reality and community loyalty tearing apart Canada’s economically-depressed yet socially-vibrant communities. How does this tug-of-war affect migration trends? Will individuals not gravitate to the best economic opportunities over time? It is surprising to some that out-migration rates are relatively high in the oil-rich Western Provinces and low in the fish-starved Atlantic Provinces. Looker (2001) attributes this to what marketers might call brand loyalty – “the low rates of out-migration in [the Atlantic] region reflect the strong ties [of residents]…to their communities” (p. 28). Newfoundland and Labrador has some of the lowest rates of out- migration (Looker, 2001 and House et al, 1990) and highest rates of return migration (House et al, 1990) in the country. But it also has the highest unemployment rates and lowest average earnings. In theory, these disadvantages should push “economically rational” people away from depressed provinces. However, some sociologists are critical of labour market
  10. 10. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 2 theories of migration. House, White and Ripley (1990) studied two outport Newfoundland communities and found evidence in support of the idea that social ties and lifestyle values reduce out-migration and encourage return migration. Gmelch and Richling (1988) have also attributed these trends to the social capital found in the island province’s small communities. It has been suggested that such findings are applicable to small communities beyond Newfoundland and Labrador (House et al, 1990). While a wealth of non-economic factors give Newfoundland and Labrador some of the lowest out-migration rates in the country, poor economic circumstances prevent in- migrants from choosing the province. Paired with declining birth-rates and an aging population, a lack of in-migration diminishes labour markets. Labour market shortages (and skills shortages) in turn affect economic productivity. Bruce and Lister (2005, 6) explain that, For many rural communities and regions in Atlantic Canada, falling population levels have resulted in problems filling vacant job positions (especially in seasonal and primary sector activities), and maintaining sufficient thresholds to support health and education service provision. These factors are tied together with many others in a circular decay that Myrdal calls “cumulative causation”. Myrdal (1957) uses his cumulative causation theory to explain regional economic inequality. He presents an example where a major employer burns down and is not rebuilt in the community. The newly unemployed have less money to spend, throwing more people out of work in local businesses. Kotler, Haider and Rein (1993) include migration in their summary of Myrdal’s observation (see Figure 1). However they limit their treatment of “city decay dynamics” to a steady flow of market factors.
  11. 11. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 3 Place Becomes Unattractive 1. Major company or industry is hurt or exits 2. Economic recession hurts business 3. Unemployment climbs 4. Infrastructure breaks down 5. City budget deficit increases Tourism, Outward Outward Convention Migration Migration of People Business of Business Fall Off Banks Tighten Credit, Bankruptcies increase, Crime Increases, Social Needs Rise, City Image Deteriorates Government Raises Taxes Figure 1. Kotler, Haider and Rein (1993) summarize city decay dynamics. Unfortunately there is a certain “economic reductionism” at play in many theories that consider migration. Migration’s economic bias is the unfortunate by-product of labour market models focused on supply, demand and price. Migration is customarily conceptualized as a product of the material forces at work in our society…the migrant is seen either as a “rational economic man” choosing individual advancement by responding to the economic signals of the job and housing markets, or as a virtual prisoner of his or her class position, and thereby subject to powerful structural economic forces set in motion by the logic of capitalist accumulations (Fielding, 1992, p 201).
  12. 12. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 4 Interdisciplinary dialogue (see Halfacree, 2004) is revealing that migration decisions are indeed multi-dimensional. “Place” is not purely economic in the way it affects an individual’s life. Geography plays a holistic socio-economic role in each individual’s biography. For example, a young person’s migration decision could be motivated by a range of considerations: expanded social networks (including greater choice in life partner), new worldly experiences, and better economic opportunities. In some cases (e.g. the care of an ill family member), social considerations drive the decision. In others (e.g. staggering unemployment and isolation), economic needs trump social ones. It may be that migration motivations are tiered, as in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1943). If so, individuals at different needs levels can be expected to make different migration decisions. Regardless of the decision criteria, a decision to migrate is not taken lightly. Therefore migration cannot be reduced to a search for the best paycheque. Much of Canada is now facing a labour shortage and a few provinces are developing strategies to recruit, retain and repatriate talented workers. The most poignant example of this work comes from New Brunswick’s Premier, Bernard Lord, who has traveled the country, treating “economic refugees” to down-east hospitality, including smoked salmon and Moosehead beer. “He admits his strategy here is as much to pluck heartstrings and praise Maritime simplicity as it is to offer New Brunswickers specific economic incentives to move home” (Brean, 2004, A2). Lord’s successful repatriation campaign lured 139 New Brunswickers home in the first year. This strategy demonstrates that provinces and communities can appeal to migrants’ broad set of human needs.
  13. 13. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 5 This research seeks to extend the current understanding of migration behaviour in Canada. It asks three questions: 1.) How strongly do economic and social considerations weigh on the migration patterns of youth, young families, immigrants, older migrants? 2.) How do a community’s social capital and economic circumstances determine its success in the competition for migrating talent? 3.) How can economic developers appeal to multiple migration motivations? Communities are becoming less focused on attracting industry and more interested in attracting talent. But there is little academic literature to support the kinds of socio-cultural appeals which are being used to encourage migration. Evidence of multiple migration motivations could validate new tools for less advantaged regions.
  14. 14. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 6 Chapter 2 - Research Context Migration Theory: Cause & Effect Population decline is a key element in a domino process of economic decline for struggling communities. There are two direct effects of population decline. First, a declining population directly reduces demand in real estate markets: there is a depression in housing sales and prices and rising vacancy rates in rental properties. Over a slightly longer time frame, a declining population has considerable impact on labour supply. Businesses face significant challenges when labour is unavailable to fill key positions. In turn, a struggling business community and declining real estate market affect government revenues. An eroding tax base threatens government capacity to provide necessary infrastructure and social services. Education and health services can be lost in small communities where population falls below demand thresholds. This is consistent with Myrdal’s (1957) observation of cumulative causation, and with Kotler, Haider and Rein’s city decay dynamics outlined in Chapter 1. However, it has been argued that migration is more than an element in an economic domino rally. There are decision criteria beyond employment and efficient public services that weigh on a migration decision. Indeed, migration is also social and cultural. In volume one of the important Migration Processes and Patterns series, Tony Fielding (1992, 201) called for greater attention to the culture of migration:
  15. 15. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 7 There is something strange about the way we study migration. We know, often from personal experience, but also from family talk, that moving from one place to another is nearly always a major event. It is one of those events around which an individual’s biography is built. The feelings associated with migration are usually complicated, the decision to migrate is typically difficult to make, and the outcome usually involves mixed emotions…Migration tends to expose one’s personality, it expresses one’s loyalties and reveals one’s values and attachments (often previously hidden). It is a statement of an individual’s world view, and is, therefore, an extremely cultural event. Halfacree (2004, 241) has also called for researchers to recognize “the multiple currents that feed into the decision-making process”, to listen for migrants’ “multiple reasons, even if entangled and often partial”, and to situate “migration inextricably within culture.” He argues that the non-economic elements of migration are often overshadowed by “a narrow economism.” Researchers cannot neglect “how culture is shaped by migration as well as how migration is rooted in culture” (Halfacree, 2004, 241). Sociologists and demographers have considered multiple migration motivations, particularly in the study of specific migrant groups. At a macro-level, Moon’s theory of “moorings” (1995, 515) attempts to summarize the many ways individuals define their well- being and in turn become bound to a particular place (see Table 1). Table 1. Typical Moorings of Everyday Life Life-course Household/family structure, Career opportunities, Household income, Educational opportunities, Caring responsibilities Cultural Household wealth, Employment structure, Social networks, Cultural affiliation, Ethnicity, Class structure, Socio-economic ideologies Spatial Climate, Access to social contacts, Access to cultural icons, Access to recreational places Source: Moon, 1995, 515.
  16. 16. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 8 A unique combination of moorings becomes salient for each individual at a particular point in their biography. For example, in some rural communities young people associate staying in the community with failure (Bruce and Lister, 2005, 18). These youth develop “low perceptions or expectations of their communities as places where they can lead a fulfilling life” (Ibid., 17). There may be a difference between real opportunities for employment, education and life experiences and the perception created by powerful socially and culturally engendered attitudes. In this case socio-economic ideology can be as important a factor for migration as a real dearth of opportunity. Another example can be found in research on return migration. Here some moorings are stronger than others. In the case of return migrants, the primary motivation “tends to be personal and family related rather than work or economic related” (Ibid., 32). Migration motivations can also be nested. Studies of immigration to Canada have shown the importance of a critical mass of immigrants in attracting new immigrants. Bruce and Lister (Ibid., 25) cite several studies that show “most, but not all immigrants choose their destinations first based on the presence of kinship and ethnic networks, and then on potential employment opportunities.” Finally, migration motivations can be based on tiered needs, as in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1943). Maslow argues that individuals seek to meet ‘basic needs’ and then fulfill successively higher orders of needs. Figure 2 is a standard representation of this hierarchy. Maslow’s hierarchy is used in many disciplines to explain human behaviour. However, the specifics of his theory have been heavily critiqued. Wahba and Bridwell
  17. 17. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 9 (1976), for example, reviewed literature testing Maslow’s hierarchy. They were unable to find evidence to support Maslow’s classification or ranking of needs. They add that, “theories of self-actualization, particularly that of Maslow, suffer from vagueness in concept, looseness in language, and lack of adequate empirical evidence” (Wahba and Bridwell, 1976, 233). They corroborate the idea of a needs hierarchy, or a tiering of needs, but not in the specific way Maslow has proposed. 5 Actualization 4 Esteem 3 Love/Belonging 2 Safety/Security 1 Physiological Figure 2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The research outlined in this section can be applied to better understand the motivations behind migration decision making. Unfortunately, these insights are not influencing Canada’s economic development policies. Migration in Canada The greatest challenge to endogenous development in any community is the out- migration of talent. Innovation and entrepreneurship are human activities that require
  18. 18. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 10 creative people. Governments and communities in Canada became acutely aware of this new economy challenge when academics began sounding the “brain drain” alarm. But as Diane Looker points out, “much of the [brain drain] research focuses on the issue (the “problem”) of youth out-migration from rural areas…there is little information on in-migrants” (2001, 29). As has been noted for Newfoundland, the real problem of migration is not that some communities have significantly higher rates of out-migration but that they have significantly lower rates of in-migration and return migration (Dupuy, Mayer and Morissette, 2000). Researchers fall into a trap when they do not dissect the elements of net migration. There is a volume of existing research that examines the geographic and economic patterns of interprovincial migration in Canada (Finnie, 1998, 2000 and 2004; MPHEC, 2002; Looker, 2001; Dupuy et al., 2000; R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd., 2002). This research consistently demonstrates that Canada’s most profound migration is from rural to urban areas and from the Atlantic Provinces westward. Ross Finnie of Queen’s University and Statistics Canada is currently the country’s most prolific researcher on the topic of interprovincial migration. Finnie’s interest over the past 6 years has been in identifying the demographic trends related to migration. He consistently asks the question, “Who Moves?” (2000, 2004). Finnie’s past research (1998) employed longitudinal data pulled from census records. But his more recent work (2000, 2004) has employed a panel logit method using data derived from Revenue Canada tax records. The logit model is an extension of the basic discrete choice model. In the migration context it views the decision to change province of residence as a Boolean choice (either
  19. 19. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 11 move or do not move). This probability can be tested for the influence of a number of variables. Finnie (2004) has found that interprovincial mobility is: “ (i) inversely related to the home province’s population size, presumably reflecting local economic conditions and labour market scale effects, while language also plays an important role; (ii) more common among residents of smaller cities, towns, and especially rural areas than those in larger cities; (iii) negatively related to age, marriage, and the presence of children for both men and women; (iv) positively related to the provincial unemployment rate, the individuals’ receipt of unemployment insurance (except Entry Men), having no market income (except for Entry Men and Entry Women), and the receipt of social assistance (especially for men); (v) (slightly) positively related to earnings levels (beyond the zero earnings point) for prime aged men, but not for others; and (vi) more or less stable over time, with men’s rates declining slightly and women’s holding steadier or rising slightly, indicating a divergence in trends along gender lines” (Finnie, 2004, 1759). Beyond the broad issue of interprovincial mobility, there is considerable academic interest in rural – urban migration variations over time. Looker (2001) explains that the “rural turnaround” in the 1970s was attributed to higher rates of in-migration and lower out- migration. This trend was reversed by falling in-migration in the 1980s and was then corrected again by lower out-migration rates in the 1990s (Looker, 2001, 29). Rothwell et al (2002a and b) break down these national trends in detail. They find that, in rural and small town (RST) Canada, in-migration is greater than out-migration for all those aged 25 – 69 (Rothwell et al, 2002a, 1). For RST Canadians in their late teens and early twenties, out- migration exceeds in-migration. But, At the provincial level, rural and small town regions of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario have net in-migration. Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland
  20. 20. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 12 and Labrador have net out-migration. Migration has little overall effect on the rural and small town populations of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick (Ibid.). Newfoundland and Labrador’s rural in-migration is the lowest in the country: one quarter the in-migration rates of British Columbia. “Provinces with the highest rates of RST out-migration also tended to have the highest rates of RST in-migration” (Rothwell et al, 2002b, 9). Therefore, RST migration efficiency (turnover) is highest in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario (the most affluent provinces). RST migration efficiency is lowest in Atlantic Canada (the least affluent provinces). There is new emerging evidence that migration motivations are changing the rural- urban migration picture. In Nova Scotia for example, “two-thirds of rural census subdivisions declined in populations between 1991 and 2001” (Millward, 2005, 180). Meanwhile, a small number of metro-adjacent rural areas experienced considerable population growth through counter-urbanization (Ibid.). Some of these metro-adjacent rural communities are growing faster than the cities they abut. Bruce and Lister (2005, 4) claim this is true for all regions of the country. They cite two reasons: urban families seek a better quality of life, and more distant rural dwellers seek proximity to urban services and employment. Millward (2005, 191) argues, isolation from urban opportunities should be regarded as an independent cause of net out-migration, so that depopulation in remote districts can occur even in the presence of a buoyant local economy. However, urban opportunities can also bring negative experiences, especially for women, including “loneliness, harder work requirements and greater patriarchal control” (Halfacree,
  21. 21. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 13 2004, 243). Three key migrant groups gravitate toward urban areas and away from rural ones. Seventy-five percent of Canada’s immigrants choose Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal each year. In 2001, immigrants made up 27 percent of urban regions but only six percent of rural regions. The predominantly rural Atlantic Provinces receive only one-point-three percent of Canada’s annual immigration (Bruce and Lister, 2005). Older seniors (70 years of age and older) also choose urban communities. They seek better health care services and more appropriate “aging-in-place” housing. Meanwhile, young adults are drawn to urban education, employment and life experience. Academic and government interest in migration tends to focus on youth and young adults. Throughout the mid-nineties, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Saskatchewan all saw net losses of rural youth. Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia experienced net gains. Except in Newfoundland and Labrador, rural leavers were headed to urban areas within their province of origin. In Newfoundland the main destination of rural leavers was an urban area outside the province. Urban youth are similarly likely to move to an urban area outside their province, except in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia where urban youth move to other urban areas within their province (Dupuy, Mayer and Morisette, 2000, 17). The Coastal Communities Network says the trend is driven by “youth who leave rural areas to get a post- secondary education and then remain in urban areas where economic opportunities are seen as better than any available ‘back home’” (2004, 1).
  22. 22. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 14 The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (2002) has found that nearly half (45%) of Prince Edward Island residents, one-in-seven New Brunswickers, and one-in- fifteen Nova Scotians left their home provinces to go to university. Those graduates who had attended university outside their home province were 16% more likely to move at least once after graduation, and nearly one-in-seven left the region completely. Unfortunately MPHEC’s study may be limited because it only considers those Maritime residents who graduated from universities within the region. Despite these findings, universities and colleges cannot shoulder the blame for the loss of their graduates. Looker disputes the link by saying that it is not clear “whether those with higher education are more likely to move, or if those who are likely to move obtain higher levels of education” (2001, 30). She notes that out-migration rates climb with incremental educational attainment, but so do in-migration rates. MPHEC (2002) confirms that lower earnings, job dissatisfaction, unemployment and underemployment (all beyond the control of post-secondary institutions) motivate graduates to migrate. But Dupuy, Mayer and Morisette counter that even if young people could hold the job they desire in a rural community 40 percent would be willing to move to an urban centre. They say that “this is evidence that other factors, such as one’s desire to experiment with different life experiences or to fulfill one’s aspirations, play a role in explaining migration out of rural community [sic]” (2000, 2). This supports the idea that a particular personality-trait might be common among the majority of leavers and the majority of higher learners.
  23. 23. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 15 The economic motivation is much clearer, and it is grounded in a startling reality. Rural unemployment in 2000 was highest in Newfoundland (40%) and lowest in Alberta (11%) (Dupuy, Mayer and Morisette, 2000, 5). Seventy percent of urban, non-student, 15 – 29 year old Atlantic Canadians are employed. Only fifty-six percent of rural, non-student, 15 – 29 year old Atlantic Canadians can say the same. The urban wage premium for women in their early twenties is $558. Young men (20 – 24) earn $1447 more in rural areas, but then earn approximately $1900 less than their urban peers after reaching their thirties (Ibid.). According to the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, post-secondary graduates who stayed in the Maritimes saw a 26% wage increase after graduation. Those who left saw a 78% wage increase (MPHEC, 2002, 6). These facts cause grief for young people in Atlantic Canada who are making career decisions. They create a tug-of-war between economic reality and community loyalty. This conflict is well documented (see references in Looker, 2001, 28). Many of the young people who decide to move say things like “this place will always be home to me,” and “even if I leave I am coming back” (Ibid., 31). But in the 1990s only one-quarter of those young people who had moved away had also returned to their communities ten years later (Dupuy, Mayer and Morissette, 2000). Return Migration in Newfoundland The introductory section of this paper made reference to a book on return migration to Newfoundland by House, White and Ripley (1990). These researchers studied two small
  24. 24. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 16 coastal communities on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland: Anchor Point and Bird Cove. Their findings do not completely fit with the theory of an economically rational migrant. It is argued that, to Newfoundlanders, economic self-interest includes non-cash wealth and benefits from the informal economy. Also, rational migration decisions extend beyond immediate economic considerations to include past experience and present personality. The authors explain, “In real life, people respond to situations in terms of their personal biographies, which vary according to where they were born and raised, their family relationships and a host of other influences” (House, White and Ripley, 1990, 3). It has already been noted that out-migration from Newfoundland and Labrador is not the source of the province’s net out-migration. What distinguishes Newfoundland is not that Newfoundlanders choose to leave their home province at a greater rate than people in other provinces, but rather that other Canadians choose to move to Newfoundland at a lower rate than they do any other province (House, White and Ripley, 1990, 12). Despite this depressingly low level of in-migration, Newfoundland and Labrador has a remarkably high level of return migration – the highest rates in the country. Over half of the migrants into Newfoundland and Labrador are former residents. This trend has been consistent for at least the past 20 years (Ibid.). Gmelch and Richling (1988) tell the story of return migration to outport Newfoundland not in terms of the return migrants’ failure in the urban economy, but rather their desire to rediscover intimate social relations, community spirit and a rural household economy (including the self-sufficient nature of hunting, fishing, and barter).
  25. 25. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 17 As veterans of urban-industrial Canada, having tasted the ‘modern life’, their voluntary return to the province’s rural villages offers an unambiguous message that outport society and culture are still vibrant and appealing (Gmelch and Richling, 1988, 14). This seems to ring true for many of the over 13,000 former Newfoundlanders currently living in Fort McMurray, Alberta. They represent one-third of the city’s population. The mayor jokes that his city is, “Newfoundland’s third largest” (Burns, 2003, 49). This is reminiscent of immigrants’ ethnic enclaves. A relative reports back to home that there is plenty of work available for all the nieces, nephews and cousins. Employment is the motivator, and yet many Newfoundlanders are looking only for a temporary move, a few years of good wages to help get them on their feet to set up a business or establish themselves more securely back home (Ibid.).1 House, White and Ripley agree that return migration to Newfoundland is not a result of labour market failure, rather the result of a new awareness of Newfoundland’s advantages. After some time away, the grass is no longer greener on the other side. Clearly, social considerations are integral to the migration decisions of rural Newfoundlanders. Social capital is one of the key incentives to return migration. House, White and Ripley suggest that this observation likely applies in varying degrees to other Atlantic Canadian communities and beyond. 1 Unfortunately a high cost of living often prevents any significant cash savings.
  26. 26. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 18 Social Capital Theory and Migration Social capital is not a panacea for troubled communities. It can lead to isolationism and destructive norms. But the message of social capital theory is, as Woolcock (2001) explains, “that how we associate with each other, and on what terms, has enormous implications for our well-being” (p. 15). Social capital can help people deal with uncertainties like job loss, and it can provide opportunities for collaborative outcomes (Woolcock, 2001, 14). Strong social capital has been shown to predict low murder rates, low death rates (controlling for blood chemistry, age, gender, jogging, and other risk factors), happiness, and socio-economic equality (Putnam, 2001, 51). “The well-connected are more likely to be housed, healthy, hired and happy” (Woolcock, 2001, 12). As evidence of these outcomes has been mounting, the significance of social capital has become clearer. However, critics of social capital emphasize the isolationist viewpoint. Florida (2002) finds that his creative class is not only disinterested in community connectedness but is avoiding tight-knit communities in favour of quasi-anonymity. He says, The people in my focus groups and interviews rarely wished for the kinds of community connectedness Putnam talks about. If anything, they were trying to get away from those kinds of environments….they did not want friends and neighbors [sic] peering over the fence into their lives (Florida, 2002, 268). This critique strikes at the heart of socially vibrant communities. The creative class theory is suggesting that tight social networks might be preventing in-migration. It is possible that social capital is a double-edged sword: it might discourage out-migration and encourage return migration, but simultaneously discourage in-migration.
  27. 27. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 19 Other preliminary research validates the idea that social capital is a valuable community feature. Cordes and his colleagues (2003) surveyed residents in a small Nebraska community using a contingent valuation framework. This approach involved asking respondents questions that revealed the salary increase they would accept in return for moving from the community. It is not surprising that 61% of respondents said they would move from the community and leave behind local relatives and friends for financial gain. Surprisingly though, when respondents were asked to state the required salary incentive, the average value was incredibly high: $30,000. The yes/no decision to accept-compensation was found to correlate with other questionnaire responses on the size of the respondent’s close personal network, emotional support, and general attitude about the town’s social environment. Unfortunately the results are somewhat questionable because willingness-to- accept questions are frowned upon in contingent valuation research. Willingness-to-pay questions are more commonly accepted but Cordes et al were unable to devise a realistic migration situation that included a willingness-to-pay element. Despite this drawback, the researchers are confident that they have produced the first evidence that social capital results in tangible and measurable attachment value. They have reinforced the idea that social capital reduces gross out-migration and could induce return migration if the necessary trade- offs are not realized.
  28. 28. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 20 Local Response Strategies New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna was the first Canadian political leader to buy into the concept that technology infrastructure could attract clusters of investment. But he went beyond the generic dot-com recruitment campaign that consumed many communities, states and provinces. He looked at local strengths and aggressively promoted his province as a skilled bilingual haven for the emerging call centre industry (Savoie, 2001). McKenna’s economic success in New Brunswick was partly a result of call-centre job creation but mostly the indirect result of the brand loyalty he created for the province (Ibid.). The new conservative Premier, Bernard Lord, has reinvented McKenna’s brand- strategy by using it to recruit ex-patriot New Brunswickers back to the province. Lord has traveled the country, treating “economic refugees” to down-east hospitality, including smoked salmon and Moosehead beer. “He admits his strategy here is as much to pluck heartstrings and praise Maritime simplicity as it is to offer New Brunswickers specific economic incentives to move home” (Brean, 2004, A2). Yet not every ex-patriot New Brunswicker finds this appeal attractive. One woman left an event saying, “Don’t feed me the lifestyle,…that’s not going to pay my rent” (Ibid.). Despite this criticism, Lord’s successful repatriation campaign lured 139 New Brunswickers home in the first year. Other provinces in Eastern Canada are also beginning to recruit people, particularly those in their twenties. Newfoundland and Labrador turns student loans into grants for those university and college graduates who stay in the province to work. Students are therefore not
  29. 29. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 21 forced to leave Newfoundland after graduation in order to repay their debt (Government of NL, 2004). The province of Quebec is farther into the game with its “Place aux Jeunes” program. To demonstrate that opportunities do exist in rural Quebec, university students are given all-expenses-paid trips home for three winter weekends. One day out of each weekend is spent meeting employers, economic developers, and successful local young people (Place aux Jeunes, 2004). While a number of intervention programs exist at the provincial level, the Coastal Communities Network suggests that work must also be done at the local level. CCN Executive Director Ishbel Munroe suggests some solutions for the Nova Scotia government, namely forgiving a portion of the provincial student loan and realigning the education system to highlight local opportunities. But she is quick to focus on what she has heard from young people: “Currently, young people are told all the things they can’t do…Tno skateboarding, no standing around on the main street, no sitting in the park after dark,” she says, “…when they’re told to move along enough times, they do” (Coastal Communities Network, 2004, 2). Munroe’s comments point to an attitude problem at the local level and suggest communities will win the migration game if they can engage their youth. She cites an earlier CCN study that found young volunteers are more likely than non-volunteers to return to their communities after their post-secondary education. Unfortunately the study also found that most young people never volunteer because they are never asked. The local challenge is for communities to demonstrate, in as many ways as possible, that they value their young people.
  30. 30. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 22 The Colchester Regional Development Agency in Truro, Nova Scotia, does this by sending “Colchester Cares Kits” to local students who are away at university. Each kit contains items donated by members of the local chamber of commerce. The intent is to maintain community loyalty when young people leave to pursue an education (Von Kintzel, 2004). The New Rural Economy (NRE) Project (a collaboration among government, community, business, and 15 academic researchers) has been studying capacity building in 32 communities across Canada since 1998. Two of the NRE researchers published, “Strategic observations for rural community decisions (ideas for communities that have decided that they want to grow)” (Reimer and Bollman, 2004). Part of this document addresses the topic, “youth are leaving…but young families return” (p. 4-5). The authors suggest that attractive communities can bring young families back with a high probability that they will become self-employed. They propose five strategies for addressing return migration that nurture and capitalize on social ties: “ a) Five-year (or seven-year) high school reunions where you have researched the interests and capacities of each former student and you make them an offer they cannot refuse. b) Community bulletins sent regularly to past residents to keep them informed about local activities. c) Use your diaspora for market intelligence and opportunities. d) Small community venture capital funds for returning youth. e) Mentors for new entrepreneurs” (Reimer and Bollman, 2004, 4 – 5).
  31. 31. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 23 Chapter 3 - Research Procedure Data Sources No comprehensive source of data on sub-provincial migration was available at the time of this research. To build an appropriate data set, this study draws on three sources, all provided by the Government of Canada. The files are made available to students at the University of Waterloo through Tri-University Data Resources. The first two data sets are CANSIM manipulations of 2001 Census records. Table 109- 5215 (Statistics Canada, 2005a) provided population counts for each health region by 5-year age groupings. The table included data for 1996 and 2001. These figures were fed into a cohort survival analysis to derive the dependent variables (see Procedure, step 1). Meanwhile, Table 109-0200 (Statistics Canada, 2005b) provided economic indicators for each health region. Many of these statistics were used as independent variables in the study. The third data set is from a less familiar and relatively new source. Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Health Canada engaged in a consultation in 1998 to identify current and future needs for health information. As a result, Statistics Canada fielded the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) in 2000. This survey provides data on the status and determinants of population health in Canada’s many sub- provincial health regions. Since social capital has become recognized as a key determinant of health, the CCHS includes data on this otherwise elusive phenomenon. For a select few health regions four indicators of social support were calculated, including a measure of
  32. 32. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 24 tangible support and a measure of positive social interaction (Statistics Canada, 2003). Unfortunately these indicators of social support cannot be used in this study because they are available for so few regions. However, for all health regions, the CCHS questionnaire included questions regarding Canadians’ sense of belonging, volunteer activity, and participation in social activities. This is the first accessible data set with which researchers can compare such social capital indicators in local communities. Additional independent variables are drawn from this data set. Population The unit of analysis for this study is the community (health region) rather than the individual migrant. While migration decisions appear to occur primarily at the individual level, there is a need for research that can inform community economic development interventions at a regional level. Communities need to better understand how their socio- economic attributes influence the migration patterns of key demographic groups. There are 118 health regions in Canada. The boundaries for these regions are defined by the provincial ministries of health. These are legislated administrative areas in all provinces except Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Department of Health uses statistical zones that are aggregations of the province’s nine district health authorities. To meet data quality guidelines in the Canadian Community Health Survey, Statistics Canada has aggregated 31 of the provincial health regions in 16 larger regions. The same aggregation was applied to the CANSIM data sets (see Appendix, Table 2). This aggregation created one geographically large
  33. 33. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 25 health region that encompasses the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. This northern health region was excluded from the analysis. The remaining 102 health regions are listed in the Appendix. Procedure The data analysis made use of SPSS and Microsoft Excel. It involved five incremental analysis steps. Migration Variables (Step 1). Migration data can be derived from general population statistics using a “residual method” (see Goetz, 2005). Since births, deaths and migration are the three components of population change, net migration can be calculated with the accounting identity in Equation 1 (Goetz, 2005). Equation 1 M j , = Pop j ,t B j, + D j, Here, the change in population due to migration is MU. PopU is the population at the beginning of the time period while Popt-U is the population at the end of the period. BU is the number of births over the period and DU is the number of deaths. The subscript “j” denotes a particular demographic group, such as 20-24 year olds. This formula yields an absolute value for the net number of migrants. Absolute migration values are not useful for a comparison among communities of different sizes. In response, an estimate of the effect of regional net-migration was developed.
  34. 34. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 26 A basic “cohort survival estimation”2 (see Newkirk, 2002) was combined with the “migration by residual” method outlined above. Equation 2 was developed for the purposes of this study. It was applied to each health region for each age-cohort of interest. Equation 2 Pop ,r , j Pop ,r , j M r, j = = Est ,r , j Popt ,r , j 1 D ,j This estimate of the effect of net-migration (M) indicates the relative impact of migration for a given age group (j) in a given health region (r). The actual population in 2001 (PopU,r,j) is divided by a population estimate (EstU,r,j) based on cohort survival (neglecting migration). The result captures the magnitude of the difference between the actual population in 2001 (survivors and migrants) and the predicted population for 2001 (only survivors). A score of 1.00 indicates that migration had no effect on the region’s population. A score greater than 1.00 indicates a net positive population growth as a result of migration, and a score less than 1.00 indicates a net negative result. Unfortunately mortality/survival rates were not available for individual health regions. In response, it was assumed that survival rates are relatively uniform throughout each province. This assumption introduces the possibility of error since some of the variation in migration levels may represent variations in mortality rates. 2 Each age group is progressed through time and a survival rate is applied. For example, the total number of 5-9 year olds in 1996 becomes the estimated number of 10-14 year olds in 2001, less any deaths.
  35. 35. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 27 These estimates (M) were calculated for the cohorts identified in Table 2. Table 2. Cohorts of Interest Summary of M values (all health regions) Cohort Age Min Q13 Mean Q34 Max Children (Families) 5–9 0.948 1.006 1.051 1.085 1.329 Teens 15 - 19 0.896 0.983 1.010 1.058 1.240 Early-Twenties 20 - 24 0.621 0.807 0.894 1.065 1.458 Late-Twenties 25 - 29 0.677 0.860 0.928 1.033 1.351 Early-downshifters 50 - 54 0.880 0.984 1.005 1.027 1.083 Late-downshifters 55 - 59 0.867 0.987 1.002 1.036 1.149 Pre-retirement 60 - 64 0.821 0.984 1.003 1.035 1.150 Recently-Retired 65 - 69 0.884 0.977 1.002 1.018 1.131 Immigrants are also a group of interest to this study. A measure of immigration was developed independently of the other migration variables. This measure considers immigrants as a proportion of a health region’s population (based on the number of individuals with permanent resident status identified in the CCHS).5 Social Indicators (Step 2). The CCHS was used to estimate the social capital in each health region. Since social support indicators were not available for all health regions, some of the indicators pioneered by Putnam (2000) have been used. The social capital variables include participation in 3 The first quartile. 4 The third quartile. 5 Min = 0.080; Q1 = 2.607; Mean = 7.894; Q3 = 14.356; Max = 57.970.
  36. 36. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 28 voluntary organizations, participation in social activities, and sense of belonging to the community. They are outlined in Table 3. Table 3. Social Capital Indicator Variables Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Proportion of respondents who indicated a Sense of Belonging somewhat strong or 44.24 63.32 67.27 71.90 82.60 very strong sense of belonging to their community. Proportion of respondents aged 15-19 who indicated Teen Sense of a somewhat strong 44.99 59.36 66.85 71.77 86.02 Belonging or very strong sense of belonging to their community. Proportion of respondents aged Twenty- 20-29 who indicated something Sense a somewhat strong 40.18 51.31 57.90 63.53 85.00 of Belonging or very strong sense of belonging to their community. Proportion of respondents who Volunteer were members of a 19.36 34.67 38.12 41.00 48.68 Membership voluntary organization.
  37. 37. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 29 Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Proportion of respondents aged Teen Volunteer 15-19 who were 10.98 29.98 36.57 43.59 60.78 Membership members of a voluntary organization. Proportion of Twenty- respondents aged something 20-29 who were 9.28 20.59 27.07 32.17 42.66 Volunteer members of a Membership voluntary organization. Proportion of respondents who Volunteer volunteered at least 6.19 16.06 18.56 20.88 26.26 Participation once in the past week. Proportion of respondents who Social Dance participated in a 10.94 18.35 20.65 23.43 28.15 social dance in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Ice Hockey participated in ice 2.64 5.64 6.78 7.93 12.26 hockey in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Golfing participated in 1.87 9.31 13.44 14.98 20.15 golfing in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Bowling participated in 3.48 9.26 10.83 12.35 16.63 bowling in the past 3 months.
  38. 38. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 30 Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Proportion of respondents who Baseball/Softball participated in 3.00 5.22 7.30 9.08 12.51 baseball/softball in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Tennis participated in 1.12 2.41 3.32 4.78 9.49 tennis in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Volleyball participated in 2.10 5.89 7.25 8.44 11.39 volleyball in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Basketball participated in 4.83 7.79 9.58 10.84 14.35 basketball in the past 3 months. Proportion of respondents who Soccer participated in 3.72 6.22 7.63 9.38 12.97 soccer in the past 3 months. Economic and Market-size Indicators (Step 3). The first economic indicator, income adequacy, was drawn from the CCHS. “Income Adequacy” is the proportion of respondents in a health region who were identified as having
  39. 39. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 31 a low household income6. Another measure of low income was available in CANSIM Table 109-0200 (Statistics Canada, 2005b). “Economic Families – Incidence of Low Income (2000 income) (percent)” is the proportion of economic families with incomes below the Statistics Canada low-income cut-off7. The remaining economic indicators were drawn from this same CANSIM table and are listed in Table 4. Table 4. Economic and Market-size Variables Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Proportion of labour Long-term force aged 15 and Un- over who did not 1.50 2.62 3.40 5.20 17.99 employment have a job any time Rate during the current or previous year. Average personal income (pre-tax, Average post-transfer) for Personal 19,804 24,978 27,518 29,410 43,691 persons aged 15 and Income over who reported income ($). 6 The CCHS classifies low-income as less than $15,000 for household of 1 or 2 people, less than $20,000 for households of 3 or 4 people, and les than 30,000 for households of 5 or more people. (Min = 3.459; Q1 = 6.128; Mean = 7.683; Q3 = 9.632; Max = 19.173). 7 Min = 5.400; Q1 = 9.425; Mean = 11.200; Q3 = 12.800; Max = 22.700.
  40. 40. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 32 Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Proportion of all income that came from government transfers (e.g., Guaranteed Income Government Supplement/Old Age Transfer Security, 5.90 11.82 14.01 16.10 27.10 Income Canada/Quebec Pension Plan, Employment Insurance) for the population 15 years of age and over. Proportion of the population living within a Census Metropolitan Area, a Census Population in Agglomeration or a 0.00 43.82 81.70 95.10 100.00 a CMA strong Census Metropolitan Area and Census Agglomeration Influenced Zone. Proportion of health region population living in a continuously built- Urban up area having a 21.80 49.62 64.90 81.50 100.00 Population population concentration of 1,000 or more and a population density of 400/km2 or more. Inverse of “Urban Rural Population” (not 0.00 18.42 35.10 49.40 78.20 Population used in analysis).
  41. 41. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 33 Summary of Values (all health regions) Variable Description Min Q1 Mean Q3 Max Population per Population square kilometer 0.26 3.38 15.95 48.68 4,238.75 Density (based on 1996 census). Cross-correlation of independent variables (Step 5) This study assumes that social capital is a phenomenon that acts on migration rates relatively independently of economic indicators. That is, social capital is not simply a by- product of economic market factors. To support this assumption the two sets of independent variables were correlated against each other. Where logical, some correlation tests were also conducted within the variable sets. For example, it was particularly prudent to determine the degree to which “sense of belonging” is influenced by other social indicators. Correlation tests (Step 6) The final step in the data analysis was an array of correlation tests. The Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient (r) was used. Interpretation of r was based on the thresholds outlined in Table 5. The basic analysis involved all Canadian health regions. A total of 176 tests were conducted using 22 independent variables (16 social indicators and 6 economic indicators) and 8 dependent variables (cohort-specific estimates of the effect of regional net-migration). All 176 tests were then recalculated twice to further understand geographic variations. These secondary analyses focused on a set of Atlantic Canadian health
  42. 42. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 34 regions, and a set of rural health regions (those with more than 50% of their population living in rural areas). Table 5. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient Interpretation. Association Absolute r-value Perfect (P) 1.000 Strong (S) 0.750 – 0.999 Moderately Strong (M) 0.500 – 0.749 Weak (W) 0.001 – 0.499 None (N) 0.000 Limitations At this point it is important to identify some key limitations and assumptions underlying this study. These relate to the treatment of migration statistics, the geographic level of analysis, and the selection of social capital indicators. First, there are three important considerations with respect to the treatment of migration and population change in this study. A key challenge with all census population data is that the census methodology does not separate migrant births/deaths from those in the pre-existing population. As a result, the infant children of migrants are not counted as migrants, regardless of whether or not they were born after the migration event. Since fertility rates were not available for health regions anyway, newborns were excluded from this study. Deaths and cohort survival rates present a different challenge. Provincial survival rates were applied to the health regions because data at the health region level was unavailable. Unfortunately this introduces some bias into the residual method: variations in survival rates can manifest as variations in migration rates. To minimize this error, the older
  43. 43. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 35 age cohorts (70+) were excluded. For those ages, survival rates are lowest and the inferred bias would be high. Another limitation is the lack of data for dissecting in- vs. out-migration. As demonstrated in Chapter 2, separating the components of migration introduces an important level of understanding (as in NL’s low out-migration and lower in-migration). Although this study is only able to estimate net-migration, it reaches for this deeper level of understanding through an examination of age cohorts. Because in and out flows tend to be tied to age groups (youth, families, seniors) there is a degree of richness in the results that would not be found in a community-wide net-migration statistic. The research design carefully assuages all three of these migration limitations. The second set of limitations and assumptions relates to the geographic level of analysis. For starters, health regions are a coarse basis for spatial analysis. A smaller level, such as census divisions or sub-divisions, might yield greater variation in the data set. However, a smaller geographic unit might also introduce a greater degree of spatial dependency between neighbouring regions. Unfortunately this discussion is moot because appropriate social capital data are not publicly available for any geographic aggregation smaller than health regions. As Statistics Canada introduces new sources for social capital data, studies at the CD level or lower may become possible. Meanwhile, regardless of the geographic aggregation, researchers must contemplate whether or not “community” is an appropriate unit of analysis. The question for theorists is whether social capital rests at the individual or community level. Putnam operates on the premise that social capital is a phenomenon shared between many individuals. He goes so far as to compare levels of social
  44. 44. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 36 capital between American states. This study assumes that social capital operates at a more local level. Putnam’s high level of aggregation is rejected, but his basic premise (that social capital is a community phenomenon) remains intact. Putnam’s approach to social capital indicators has also been adopted here. This is the third set of limitations and assumptions. In his book, Bowling Alone (2000), Putnam uses membership in voluntary associations and participation in social activities as indicators of social capital. This is because more sophisticated measures were not available at the time of his pioneering work. A similar limitation applies in Canada today. Although social capital is better understood, public data sources are not up-to-speed. For a select few geographies, the CCHS asked questions leading to an index of “tangible social support” and “positive social interaction”. These included questions about bonding ties between individuals. Bridging and linking social capital are as yet unexplored in this dataset. Current theory encourages more specific measures than those used in this study, but they may not be available until specific surveys on social capital are fielded. In the meantime, Putnam-style indicators allow significant insight and discussion. Ethics Considerations Further to its stringent ethics policies, Statistics Canada has removed all personal information from the data files. Results that could identify any individual have been suppressed. Because the research did not involve contact with human subjects there was no need for a review by the Office of Research Ethics.
  45. 45. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 37 Chapter 4 - Results Cross Correlations The results indicate that the social and economic indicators employed here are two relatively independent sets of variables. There are, however, two notable exceptions. First, there is evidence that “sense of belonging” is more prevalent outside cities. There is a moderately strong negative relationship between sense of belonging and urban population (r = -0.566) and between sense of belonging and population within a CMA (r = - 0.543). Digging deeper, the least wealthy of these rural regions have a more prevalent sense of belonging. For the set of rural health regions, “sense of belonging” is moderately strongly (and positively) related to both long-term unemployment rates (r = 0.618) and government transfer income (r = 0.541). For the set of Atlantic health regions this relationship is even stronger: the correlation coefficient for sense of belonging and long-term unemployment is 0.880, and for sense of belonging and government transfer income it is 0.777. There is a fascinating migration story in these statistics. It appears that people are bonded together by economic hardship; supporting one another through tough times and relying on family, friends and sometimes government income support. This connectedness makes it a little easier to be unemployed or underemployed, allowing people to stay in the community to which they are socially bonded. They can try to wait for better economic circumstances rather than moving in search of them.
  46. 46. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 38 Three social activities provide a second exception to the independence of the social and economic indicator sets. Participation in these three activities is related (moderately strongly) to the economic circumstances and urbanization of a given community. Tennis, basketball and soccer are all more prevalent in richer urban regions (see Table 6). Surprisingly this was not the case for hockey which generally has a higher cost-of-entry (in the form of higher equipment costs). Rather than cost-of-entry, this evidence may point to a class-divide for these three sports, or perhaps an issue of access to facilities. Table 6. Participation in tennis, basketball and soccer is higher in wealthy urban regions (r- values). Income Urbanization Avg. Personal Gov’t Transfer % in a CMA % Urban Tennis 0.668 0.592 0.602 0.722 Basketball 0.549 0.516 0.489 * 0.405 * Soccer 0.674 0.626 0.518 0.459 * * below the |.500| threshold. Some cross-correlation within the social indicators revealed one further interesting finding. The correlation between “sense of belonging” and “volunteer membership” is positive and moderately strong (r = 0.716). It is likely that the causal relationship runs in both directions. Across the country, people in strong “sense of belonging” regions are more likely to support one another through membership in voluntary organizations. In turn, communities where residents are actively engaged in voluntary organizations have a more prevalent sense of belonging.
  47. 47. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 39 Low Correlation Results Although “volunteer membership” is linked to “sense of belonging”, it is one of the seven variables that are weakly correlated with migration success for the demographic cohorts. Table 7 lists the indicators for which r-values fell below the |0.500| threshold. Table 7. Variables with low correlation to migration success. Variable Range of r-values Volunteer Membership -0.245 to 0.067 Teen Volunteer Membership 0.018 to 0.276 Twenty-something Volunteer Membership -0.138 to 0.054 Volunteer Participation -0.128 to 0.325 Social Dance -0.101 to 0.057 Ice Hockey -0.275 to 0.294 Volleyball -0.237 to 0.227 These low correlation results should not be over-interpreted. Indeed, some researchers in some studies would place their threshold for acceptable r-values much lower than |0.500|. The results only indicate that these forms of social engagement have little effect on migration at a community level. In unique cases, an individual may find any of these connections to be a strong anchor/pull that influences her/his migration decision. It is also likely that these variables simply have a less direct effect on migration than those variables that yielded stronger results. For example, it has been noted that “volunteer membership” has a moderately strong relationship to “sense of belonging”. “Sense of belonging” is, in turn, strongly related to migration for some demographic cohorts. More intensive multi-variate study of the social indicators is needed.
  48. 48. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 40 Immigrants There is little evidence that general social factors play a strong role in the location decisions of immigrants. There are strong positive correlation results for “immigrant concentration” and “tennis” (r = 0.728), “basketball” (r = 0.509), and “soccer” (r = 0.568). However, these are the social activities that are strongly linked to economic and market-size factors. Indeed, these three results are indicative of the strong results for economic indicators. Although unemployment rates had little effect on the concentration of immigrants (r = -0.359), average personal incomes (r = 0.655) and government transfer incomes (r = -0.620) did. Immigrant concentration is highest in urban areas, as evidenced by strong results for all three indicators of urbanization. This is consistent with the literature, which indicates Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are the top three immigrant destinations in Canada. Social factors may be unimportant to immigrants because many have already detached from social ties in their countries of origin. It is also true that ethnic enclaves tend to occur in the most densely populated urban centres, where geographic concentrations of a particular socio-cultural minority can be found. The correlation results for the immigration cohort are reported in Figure 3. Although the economic motivations of immigrants come through in these results, three social factors arise in the population sub-sets. For the set of rural health regions, immigration success is strongly and positively related to participation in golf (r = 0.615) and baseball (r = 0.558). These social indicators weigh on the relative success of rural regions for
  49. 49. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 41 other demographic cohorts as well. Because average personal income (r = 0.778) and government transfer income (r = -0.800) have a strong effect on immigration for the set of rural regions, it may simply be that golf and baseball are common to the wealthier rural regions. A further anomaly is the strength of bowling participation in determining immigrant concentration for the set of Atlantic health regions (r = 0.513). This may also be a confounding variable since no other social variables had a strong effect in Atlantic Canada while the economic and market-size indicators had a strong effect. Robert Putnam might be disappointed to hear that, as a social capital indicator, bowling participation did not have a strong effect on migration for any demographic cohort other than immigrants. Immigrant Concentration and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values) 1.000 0.800 0.600 0.400 0.200 All r-value - Atlantic -0.200 Rural -0.400 -0.600 -0.800 -1.000 e G e r plo me an In nt / s fing A In e S o is D on pu Po tion g Av U w I c y y sk er B all Te ll Ur Po com CM fer m a ng ce Ad lin sit nn e Ba cc ti r m Lo qua b tb o ym co en l tio la Lo en me ow Po an ula et ba Go g. n e nc of la pu e p Tr al n P m ll n s ov so -te o f se b cid o Ba In Inc 't Figure 3. Immigrant Concentration and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values).
  50. 50. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 42 Children (Families) Like the immigrant cohort, migration for children (aged 5 – 9 years) had little to do with social indicators. Soccer participation was the only social indicator with a strong result in the set of all health regions (r = 0.516). However, soccer’s link to economic factors has already been demonstrated. Indeed, the presence of poor economic conditions goes hand-in- hand with poor migration results for children. The relationship between average personal income and migration success for the “children” cohort was found to be in a positive direction, but the r-value fell below the significance threshold by 0.005. For the population subsets (rural and Atlantic regions), golf participation was found to have an effect on migration results for the “children” cohort. This may again be spill over from economic indicators which are particularly strong for this cohort in the subset populations. It should be noted that market-size (CMA, urban, density) is weakly correlated with migration success for this cohort. It would appear that density and urbanization have little bearing on migration of children (families), while economic opportunities do (e.g. income adequacy, incidence of low income, long-term unemployment rate, government transfer income). For the set of rural regions, economic indicators yielded r-values ranging from |0.534| to |0.718|. The results were even stronger for the set of Atlantic health regions. There, the relationship between migration of this cohort and long-term unemployment rates was strong and in a negative direction (r = -0.829). In other words, the rural and Atlantic regions that
  51. 51. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 43 are most successful in attracting/retaining populations of children (hence, families) are those experiencing the most economic prosperity. In Atlantic Canada, “sense of belonging” also plays a strong role: it reduces migration success for this cohort. This is likely because “sense of belonging” is strongly tied to economic circumstances. However, it might also be indicative of tight-knit communities pushing away outsiders. In- and out-migration must be dissected from net-migration to determine which of the former or latter conclusions are true. Further research can also examine the role of children’s social connections in a family’s decision to migrate. This study has used children aged 5 – 9 years as a proxy for young families. However, this presents challenges because families often contain multiple children and can be expected to never delegate the migration decision solely to the children. Nevertheless, the results outlined above (and in Figure 4) provide some insight. Migration Success (Children - Families) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values) 0.800 0.600 0.400 0.200 All r-value - -0.200 Atlantic -0.400 Rural -0.600 -0.800 -1.000 t e e en y e ng g er om ac m m fi n cc m gi co co qu ol nc n oy So In lo In G de lI pl Be r ow m na A fe ne ns e of o L m rs U ra of e co Pe ns T rm e In nc Se 't g. -te ov de Av ng G ci Lo In Figure 4. Migration Success (Children – Families) and Socio-economic Indicators (r-values).
  52. 52. Heart-strings and Economic Gravity 44 Youth This section examines the results for three demographic cohorts: teenagers (aged 15 – 19 years), early-twenty-somethings (aged 20 – 24 years), and late-twenty-somethings (aged 25 – 29 years). Strong and moderately strong correlation coefficient values are reported in Figure 5, Figure 6 and Figure 7 respectively. The cohorts are grouped for discussion purposes because their M values responded similarly against the various independent variables. For example, the social activities that arose from the analysis were the same economically-driven ones seen in previous cohorts (tennis, soccer, golf and baseball). Similar economic factors also appeared. The most successful regions economically (unemployment and income) are also the most successful with respect to youth migration. Interestingly, the strength of this relationship was found to increase with youth’s ages. Each progressive cohort of the three has larger absolute r-values for economic indicators. Economic considerations become more important and better understood as young people age and increasingly rely on their own employment earnings. Another interesting finding relates to the relationship between “sense of belonging” and migration success for these three youth cohorts. The overall community “sense of belonging” yielded larger absolute r-values than peer “sense of belonging” (“Teen Sense of Belonging” and “Twenty-something Sense of Belonging”). Overall community “sense of belonging” is a stronger deterrent to positive youth migration than peer-group “sense of belonging”. This may be evidence of an underlying social story about how communities

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