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Why Are East Germans Not More Mobile?: Analyzing the Impact of Local Networks on Migration Intentions

  • Peter Boenisch
  • Lutz Schneider

Despite poor regional labour market conditions East Germans exhibit a rather limited willing-ness of leaving their home region. Applying an IV ordered probit approach and using the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP), we test a local network explanation of lower spatial mobility. Firstly, we find that membership in locally bounded social networks reduces regional mobility. Secondly, we show that native East Germans are more invested in this type of social networks than West Germans. Thirdly, after controlling for the social network effect the mobility gap between East and West substantially reduces. Thus, low regional labour mobility of East Germans is for a significant part attributable to local ties binding people to their home region.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.363880.de/diw_sp0334.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 334.

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Length: 26 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp334
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  1. Jan Fidrmuc, 2002. "Migration and regional adjustment to asymmetric shocks in transition economies," CPB Discussion Paper 7, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Vera Gács & Peter Huber, 2005. "Quantity adjustments in the regional labour markets of EU candidate countries," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(4), pages 553-574, November.
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