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This research will use the unique nature of American Indian reservations, which constitute clearly defined local labor markets, to produce estimates describing how labor markets, housing markets, and migration respond to labor demand shocks in the context of limited in-migration. Labor demand shocks in the context of this study will be the opening of various American Indian-owned casino gaming operations on reservations over the past 35 years across the United States. Restricted access American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census data are used to test a model of spatial equilibrium with one-sided migration.

The estimates will provide evidence on whether place-based development interventions can be effective in economically lagging localities, as well as the extent to which such interventions impose unanticipated externalities (positive or negative) on the surrounding economy. This research will also examine the fluidity of racial identification among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations.

Seth Sanders – Duke University
Laurel Wheeler – Duke University

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