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Decomposing residential self-selection via a life-course perspective


  • Cynthia Chen
  • Haiyun Lin


We propose a decomposition of residential self-selection by understanding the process of its formation. We take a life-course perspective and postulate that locations experienced early in life can have a lasting effect on our locational preferences later in life. In other words, what was experienced spatially is a key factor contributing to our residential self-selection, and our preferences in residential locations are formed long before the onset of our self-selection. We further hypothesize that this prior-location influence is modified by the duration and recency of the prior stay. Using a dataset collected in the New York City Area, we estimated a series of multinomial logit models to test these hypotheses. The results confirm the prior-location influence and demonstrate that this precedes residential self-selection and is impacted by its own properties such as duration and recency. Furthermore, the analysis separating child-bearing households from non-child-bearing households shows an interaction between prior-location influence and the presence of children.

Suggested Citation

  • Cynthia Chen & Haiyun Lin, 2011. "Decomposing residential self-selection via a life-course perspective," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(11), pages 2608-2625, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:43:y:2011:i:11:p:2608-2625

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    1. repec:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:293-307 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Willem R. Boterman & Wouter P.C. Gent, 2014. "Housing Liberalisation and Gentrification: The Social Effects of Tenure Conversions in Amsterdam," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 105(2), pages 140-160, April.

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