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Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile across Regions?


  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Oliver Falck
  • Stephan Heblich
  • Jens Suedekum


Why are better educated and more risk-friendly persons more mobile across regions? To answer this question, we use micro data on internal migrants from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 2000-2006 and merge this information with a unique proxy for region-pair-specific cultural distances across German regions constructed from historical local dialect patterns. Our findings indicate that risk-loving and skilled people are more mobile over longer distances because they are more willing to cross cultural boundaries and move to regions that are culturally different from their homes. Other types of distance-related migration costs cannot explain the lower distance sensitivity of educated and risk-loving individuals.

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  • Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile across Regions?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 522, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp522

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2016. "The Preference Survey Module: A Validated Instrument for Measuring Risk, Time, and Social Preferences," Working Papers 2016-003, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Jorge De la Roca & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Diego Puga, 2014. "City of Dreams," CEP Discussion Papers dp1305, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Hinz, Tina & Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2017. "The Effect of Regional Competition and Company-sponsored Training on the Productivity-Wage Wedge," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168292, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Philip S. Morrison & William A.V. Clark, 2016. "Loss aversion and duration of residence," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(36), pages 1079-1100, October.
    5. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Mahlstedt, Robert, 2017. "Mobility Assistance Programmes for Unemployed Workers, Job Search Behaviour and Labour Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    7. Ayhan, Sinem H. & Gatskova, Kseniia & Lehmann, Hartmut, 2017. "The Impact of Non-Cognitive Skills and Risk Preferences on Rural-to-Urban Migration: Evidence from Ukraine," IZA Discussion Papers 10982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Ilan Noy, 2016. "To Leave or Not to Leave? Climate Change, Exit, and Voice on a Pacific Island," CESifo Working Paper Series 6227, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. T.M. van Huizen & Rob Alessie, 2016. "Risk Aversion and Job Mobility," Working Papers 16-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
    10. Sinem H. Ayhan & Kseniia Gatskova & Hartmut Lehmann, 2017. "The impact of non-cognitive skills and risk preferences on rural-to-urban migration: Evidence from Ukraine," Working Papers 369, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    11. Christian Dippel & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2015. "Globalization and Its (Dis-)Content: Trade Shocks and Voting Behavior," NBER Working Papers 21812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Caliendo, Marco & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hennecke, Juliane & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2015. "Job Search, Locus of Control, and Internal Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 9600, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck, 2015. "Culture, spatial diffusion of ideas and their long-lasting imprints—evidence from Froebel’s kindergarten movement," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 601-630.
    14. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2018:n:414 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Nina Neubecker, 2013. "Low Occupational Prestige and Internal Migration in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 562, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    16. Chie Hanaoka & Hitoshi Shigeoka & Yasutora Watanabe, 2015. "Do Risk Preferences Change? Evidence from Panel Data before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake," NBER Working Papers 21400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Falck, Oliver & Lameli, Alfred & Ruhose, Jens, 2015. "Cultural Biases in Migration: Estimating Non-Monetary Migration Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 8922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Tim Krieger & Laura Renner & Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Genetic Distance and International Migrant Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 5453, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Renner, Laura & Krieger, Tim & Ruhose, Jens, 2014. "Culture, Selection, and International Migration," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100434, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Zwysen, Wouter, 2014. "A disadvantaged childhood matters more if local unemployment is high," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-43, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Migration; culture; distance; human capital; risk attitudes;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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