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Low Occupational Prestige and Internal Migration in Germany

  • Nina Neubecker

This paper assesses a recent prediction of the theoretical migration literature, according to which migration may be driven by a desire to avoid social humiliation rising from occupational stigma. To this end, we study the residential mobility of workers in occupations with relatively low prestige using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). In order to capture low occupational prestige, we relate the prestige of a worker's current occupation to the average prestige of the occupations associated with the worker's vocational training. Our estimation results suggest a negative relationship between the incidence of low occupational prestige and the probability of internal migration in Germany and thus reject our working hypothesis. We discuss the role of specific migration costs and occupational cultures as possible explanations of this result. The absolute prestige level of a worker's occupation does not turn out to be a significant predictor of his propensity to migrate, whereas his absolute income level - but not his relative income level - is significantly positively related to this propensity.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.423990.de/diw_sp0562.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 562.

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Length: 25 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp562
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  1. Stark, Oded & Fan, Simon C., 2010. "A Theory of Migration as a Response to Occupational Stigma," MPRA Paper 21688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2005. "The importance of education-occupation matching in migration decisions," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 153-167, February.
  3. Silke Uebelmesser, 2006. "To Go or Not to Go: Emigration from Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 211-231, 05.
  4. Peter Boenisch & Lutz Schneider, 2010. "Informal social networks and spatial mobility: the enduring impact of communist history in Eastern Germany," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 483-497.
  5. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Why are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile Across Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3938, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal migration in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Kan, Kamhon, 2003. "Residential mobility and job changes under uncertainty," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 566-586, November.
  8. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2011. "Spouse Overeducation and Family Migration: Evidence from the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 36-45, March.
  9. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "Staunching Emigration from East Germany: Age and the Determinants of Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1014-1037, 09.
  10. Burda, Michael C, 1993. "The Determinants of East-West German Migration: Some First Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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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