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Chung, "Migration, urban amenities, and commuting: A case study of high-technology workers in Hsinchu, Taiwan," 1994

USC Dissertation in Urban Planning.
August 26, 2009
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Yee-Ping Chung, Ph.D.

Abstract (Summary)
In Taiwan, the Hsinchu Industrial Park (HSIP) was established in 1980 as a regional counter-magnet growth pole intended to balance regional development. Despite the steady relocation of high-tech jobs to the Hsinchu area over the past 13 years, many HSIP workers have elected to commute very long distances rather than relocate their residence. The resulting spatial mismatch of residence-workplace among HSIP workers produces not only very long commutes but also contributes to the marked deterioration of traffic conditions. Since migration is selective of the young educated, it is puzzling why HSIP workers would rather tolerate the long-time commuting, instead of making a job-induced residential migration of their households to Hsinchu.

Theoretically, migration flows depend on the migrants' attributes, the area characteristics of both origin and destination, and the difficulty of the journey to work. In this study, job-induced residential migration has been defined as a spatial process to adjust the stress coming from environmental dissatisfaction and intolerant commuting between Hsinchu and origin residence. This commuting strain may be offset by greater satisfaction with the living environment surrounding the current residence. The higher relative dissatisfaction with Hsinchu urban amenities over origin, the less stress perceived in the origin, and therefore the less likelihood of migrating to Hsinchu. The smaller the commuting stress the potential migrants have between Hsinchu and the origin residence, the lower the propensity should be to in-migrate to Hsinchu.

The residential in-migration decisions of HSIP workers were investigated with survey data obtained from a two-stage questionnaire survey among HSIP workforce. A multiple regression path model was estimated for the effects of personal characteristics on satisfaction with living environments at the origin residence over Hsinchu, and on commuting tolerance. The effects of all factors were then estimated for the migration decision. The empirical case study confirms the migration suppression effect of dissatisfaction with Hsinchu urban amenities, housing services, and commuting tolerance. A number of key personal or household characteristics also had important influence on the job-induced residential migration decision. (Copies available exclusively from Micrographics Department, Doheny Library, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0182.)

Advisor: Myers, Dowell

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