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Gender ideology, division of housework, and the geographic mobility of families


  • Hendrik Jürges



The paper studies the relevance of gender ideology for the geographic mobility of families using data from the German Socio-economic Panel. The analysis proceeds in two steps. First, it is shown that single men and women—who are in some sense “unconstrained” optimizers—reveal identical mobility patterns. There are no fundamental gender differences in the inter-regional mobility of German singles. Second, I focus on dual-earner households and split this group into “traditional” and “egalitarian” couples using information on their factual division of housework rather than their reported gender ideology. Separate migration analyses for both groups reveal important differences indicating the significance of gender ideology in families’ migration behavior: job-related characteristics of men statistically dominate those of women in traditional couples, whereas in egalitarian couples, male and female characteristics have the same effect on family migration behavior, i.e. there is no gender bias. Failure to account for the heterogeneity in gendered family roles across families thus misses an important explanatory factor in migration research. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik Jürges, 2006. "Gender ideology, division of housework, and the geographic mobility of families," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 299-323, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:299-323 DOI: 10.1007/s11150-006-0015-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Laat, Joost & Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena, 2006. "Working women, men's home time and lowest-low fertility," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Paul Boyle & Thomas Cooke & Keith Halfacree & Darren Smith, 2001. "A cross-national comparison of the impact of family migration on women’s employment status," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 201-213, May.
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    6. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    7. Manuel Arellano & Olympia Bover, 2002. "Learning about migration decisions from the migrants: Using complementary datasets to model intra-regional migrations in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(2), pages 357-380.
    8. Sandell, Steven H, 1977. "Women and the Economics of Family Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 406-414, November.
    9. Janice Compton & Robert A. Pollak, 2007. "Why Are Power Couples Increasingly Concentrated in Large Metropolitan Areas?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 475-512.
    10. Miriam Beblo, 1999. "How Do German Couples Spend Their Time?: A Panel-Data Analysis," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 68(2), pages 146-152.
    11. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
    12. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lutz Schneider & Alexander Kubis, 2010. "Are there Gender-specific Preferences for Location Factors? A Grouped Conditional Logit-Model of Interregional Migration Flows in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(2), pages 143-168.
    2. Kubis, Alexander & Schneider, Lutz, 2007. "Determinants of Female Migration – The Case of German NUTS 3 Regions," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2007, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2010. "East-West migration and gender: Is there a differential effect for migrant women?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 443-454, April.
    4. Thomas J. Cooke, 2013. "All tied up: Tied staying and tied migration within the United States, 1997 to 2007," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(30), pages 817-836, October.

    More about this item


    Household decision making; Migration; Division of housework; Gender ideology; D13; J16; J61;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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