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

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  • Peter Bönisch
  • Lutz Schneider

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Bönisch & Lutz Schneider, 2010. "Why Are East Germans Not More Mobile?: Analyzing the Impact of Local Networks on Migration Intentions," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 334, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp334
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2004. "Migration and regional adjustment to asymmetric shocks in transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 230-247, June.
    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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social networks; labour mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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