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How Far Do Children Move?: Spatial Distances after Leaving the Parental Home

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  • Thomas Leopold
  • Ferdinand Geißler
  • Sebastian Pink

Abstract

Little is known about how far young adults move when they leave their parental home initially. We addressed this question using data from ten waves (2000 - 2009) of the German Socioeconomic Panel Study on spatial distances calculated by the geo-coordinates of residential moves (N = 1,425). Linear regression models predicted young adults· moving distance by factors at the individual, family, household, and community level. Overall, spatial distances of initial moveouts were strikingly small with a median value of only 9.5 kilometers. Those who were welleducated, female, single, childless, had highly educated fathers and high parental household incomes moved across greater distances. The effect of young adults· education was moderated by the local community·s degree of urbanization, supporting the brain drain assertion. In line with developmental models of migration, our results further show that young adults stayed closer if the parental household was still located at their place of childhood. We found two interactions with gender: At the family level, daughters stayed closer when leaving a single-parent household. At the community level, women from Eastern Germany moved farther, suggesting that the surplus of men in the Eastern periphery is at least to some extent an outcome of initial migration decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Leopold & Ferdinand Geißler & Sebastian Pink, 2011. "How Far Do Children Move?: Spatial Distances after Leaving the Parental Home," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 368, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp368
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.371351.de/diw_sp0368.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Holmlund, Helena & Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Meet the Parents? The Causal Effect of Family Size on the Geographic Distance between Adult Children and Older Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 4398, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Kai A. Konrad & Harald Künemund & Kjell Erik Lommerud & Julio R. Robledo, 2002. "Geography of the Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 981-998, September.
    3. Jan Goebel & Peter Krause & Rainer Pischner & Ingo Sieber & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "Daten- und Datenbankstruktur der Längsschnittstudie Sozio-oekonomische Panel (SOEP)," Data Documentation 28, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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