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Low Occupational Prestige and Internal Migration in Germany

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  • Nina Neubecker

Abstract

This paper assesses a recent prediction of the theoretical migration literature, according to which migration may be driven by a desire to avoid social humiliation rising from occupational stigma. To this end, we study the residential mobility of workers in occupations with relatively low prestige using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). In order to capture low occupational prestige, we relate the prestige of a worker's current occupation to the average prestige of the occupations associated with the worker's vocational training. Our estimation results suggest a negative relationship between the incidence of low occupational prestige and the probability of internal migration in Germany and thus reject our working hypothesis. We discuss the role of specific migration costs and occupational cultures as possible explanations of this result. The absolute prestige level of a worker's occupation does not turn out to be a significant predictor of his propensity to migrate, whereas his absolute income level - but not his relative income level - is significantly positively related to this propensity.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.423990.de/diw_sp0562.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 562.

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Length: 25 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp562

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Keywords: Internal migration; Germany; occupational status; occupational prestige; income; vocational training;

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  1. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-96, Summer.
  2. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2011. "A Theory Of Migration As A Response To Occupational Stigma," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 549-571, 05.
  3. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens & Lameli, Alfred, 2014. "Why are educated and risk-loving persons more mobile across regions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 56-69.
  5. Silke Uebelmesser, 2005. "To go or not to go: Emigration from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 1626, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Burda, Michael C, 1993. "The Determinants of East-West German Migration: Some First Results," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Kan, Kamhon, 2003. "Residential mobility and job changes under uncertainty," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 566-586, November.
  8. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2011. "Spouse Overeducation and Family Migration: Evidence from the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 36-45, March.
  9. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "Staunching Emigration from East Germany: Age and the Determinants of Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1014-1037, 09.
  10. Peter Boenisch & Lutz Schneider, 2010. "Informal social networks and spatial mobility: the enduring impact of communist history in Eastern Germany," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 483-497.
  11. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2005. "The importance of education-occupation matching in migration decisions," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 153-167, February.
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