UCL Department of Economics


Jeremy McCauley

Jeremy McCauley


Jeremy McCauley - Website


Research interests:

Primary: Applied Micro, Public Economics
Secondary: Healthcare

Paper title - 'The Role of Information in Explaining the Lack of Welfare-Induced Migration'

Abstract - This paper examines the role of information as a driver of domestic welfare-induced migration decisions. Do individuals not migrate to areas with better quality welfare services because they are unaware of the differences? I exploit a policy in England where the government publicly-released quality ratings for each area’s social services (social care) on a scale from zero to three stars. I study the effects of this “information shock” on the main service users, the elderly, and find a one star increase in publicly-released rating is associated with a 1.2% increase in the elderly population of that area. Based on empirical facts, I estimate a search model with imperfect beliefs and nested learning, where the elderly search for areas with better social services and gradually learn their true quality. Mimicking the information shock, the model reveals that individuals are more influenced by the rating of their own area than by ratings for other areas. The information shock increased average utility. However, the form of the shock, and what information it conveys, affects the magnitude of the utility and migratory responses.


  • Eric French (UCL)
  • Fabien Postel-Vinay (UCL)
  • Magne Mogstad (University of Chicago)
  • Bernard Black (Northwestern University)