IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Residential mobility of urban middle classes in the field of parenthood


  • Willem R Boterman


There is common understanding that gentrifiers and new middle classes more generally share an urban orientation and may share a ‘metropolitan habitus’. The urban geography of Western metropolises and the formation and reproduction of specific middle-class groups are intrinsically connected. The specific urban habitus of these new middle classes, however, is challenged by events in the life course. When urban middle classes settle down and have children, many suburbanise. Using two waves of longitudinal data from a representative sample of middle-class couples expecting their first child, this study investigates the residential practices of middle classes that live in the central areas of Amsterdam when they become first-time parents. Building on prior work on urban middle classes, inspired by the theoretical concepts of Bourdieu, through a multilevel analysis, this study seeks to understand how various orientations of capital influence the decision whether to stay in the city or move to suburban areas. Controlling for a range of individual and neighbourhood variables, this study demonstrates that couples with high economic capital and relatively low cultural capital have a higher propensity to move out of the central city, whereas couples with high cultural capital and low economic capital have a smaller chance of suburbanising. Furthermore, this study confirms that the degree of social and economic connectedness through social networks and work in the city also play an important part in determining the propensity to move out of the city. Keywords: middle-class, residential mobility, parenthood, capital, habitus

Suggested Citation

  • Willem R Boterman, 2012. "Residential mobility of urban middle classes in the field of parenthood," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(10), pages 2397-2412, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:10:p:2397-2412

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2010. "Returns to migration, education and externalities in the European Union," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 411-434, June.
    3. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
    4. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
    5. Alexandra Rillaers, 2001. "Education and income inequality: The role of a social protection system," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 425-443.
    6. Ronald Schettkat, 2003. "Are institutional rigidities at the root of European unemployment?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 771-787, November.
    7. Sonya Kostova Huffman & Maureen Kilkenny, 2007. "Regional welfare program and labour force participation," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 215-239, June.
    8. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2009. "Education And Income Inequality In The Regions Of The European Union," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 411-437.
    9. Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "Spillover Effects of Welfare Reforms in State Labor Markets," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 667-701.
    10. Green, Colin & Kler, Parvinder & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Immigrant overeducation: Evidence from recent arrivals to Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 420-432, August.
    11. Francesca Bettio & Janneke Plantenga, 2004. "Comparing Care Regimes In Europe," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 85-113.
    12. Giordano Mion & Paolo Naticchioni, 2009. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 28-55, February.
    13. Friedrich Heinemann, 2008. "Is the Welfare State Self-Destructive? A Study of Government Benefit Morale," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 237-257, May.
    14. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "Individual Earnings and Educational Externalities in the European Union," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 39-57, February.
    15. Chris Hamnett, 2009. "Spatial Divisions of Welfare: The Geography of Welfare Benefit Expenditure and of Housing Benefit in Britain," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 1015-1033.
    16. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    17. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    18. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    19. David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009. "Unemployment compensation and high European unemployment: a reassessment with new benefit indicators," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 60-93, Spring.
    20. Kirby, Simon & Riley, Rebecca, 2008. "The external returns to education: UK evidence using repeated cross-sections," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 619-630, August.
    21. Barbara Sianesi & John Van Reenen, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 157-200, April.
    22. Bas Jacobs, 2009. "Is Prescott right? Welfare state policies and the incentives to work, learn, and retire," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(2), pages 253-280, April.
    23. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2010. "Inequalities in income and education and regional economic growth in western Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(2), pages 349-375, April.
    24. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2007. "The territorial dynamics of innovation: a Europe-United States comparative analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(6), pages 673-709, November.
    25. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2007. "Mapping the European regional educational distribution: Educational attainment and inequality," Working Papers 2007-18, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    26. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, April.
    27. Vassilis Tselios, 2008. "Income and educational inequalities in the regions of the European Union: Geographical spillovers under welfare state restrictions," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 403-430, August.
    28. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí, 2005. "Education, migration, and job satisfaction: the regional returns of human capital in the EU," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(5), pages 545-566, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:443-463 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:10:p:2397-2412. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.