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Fertility expectations and residential mobility in Britain

Listed author(s):
  • John Ermisch
  • Fiona Steele
Registered author(s):

    BACKGROUND It is plausible that people take into account anticipated changes in family size in choosing where to live. But estimation of the impact of anticipated events on current transitions in an event history framework is challenging because expectations must be measured in some way and, like indicators of past childbearing, expected future childbearing may be endogenous with respect to housing decisions. OBJECTIVE The objective of the study is to estimate how expected changes in family size affect residential movement in Great Britain in a way which addresses these challenges. METHODS We use longitudinal data from a mature 18-wave panel survey, the British Household Panel Survey, which incorporates a direct measure of fertility expectations. The statistical methods allow for the potential endogeneity of expectations in our estimation and testing framework. RESULTS We produce evidence consistent with the idea that past childbearing mainly affects residential mobility through expectations of future childbearing, not directly through the number of children in the household. But there is heterogeneity in response. In particular, fertility expectations have a much greater effect on mobility among women who face lower costs of mobility, such as private tenants. CONCLUSIONS Our estimates indicate that expecting to have a(nother) child in the future increases the probability of moving by about 0.036 on average, relative to an average mobility rate of 0.14 per annum in our sample. Contribution: Our contribution is to incorporate anticipation of future events into an empirical model of residential mobility. We also shed light on how childbearing affects mobility.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/68878/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 68878.

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    Date of creation: 2016
    Publication status: Published in Demographic Research, 2016, 35, pp. 1561-1584. ISSN: 1435-9871
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:68878
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    1. David, Quentin & Janiak, Alexandre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2010. "Local social capital and geographical mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-204, September.
    2. Fiona Steele & Constantinos Kallis & Harvey Goldstein & Heather Joshi, 2005. "The relationship between childbearing and transitions from marriage and cohabitation in Britain," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 647-673, November.
    3. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(16), pages 461-484, November.
    4. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
    5. Hill Kulu, 2008. "Fertility and spatial mobility in the life course: evidence from Austria," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(3), pages 632-652, March.
    6. Michèle Belot & John Ermisch, 2009. "Friendship ties and geographical mobility: evidence from Great Britain," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 427-442.
    7. Hill Kulu, 2008. "Fertility and Spatial Mobility in the Life Course: Evidence from Austria," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 40(3), pages 632-652, March.
    8. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1984. "Moving and housing expenditure: Transaction costs and disequilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 207-243.
    9. William A V Clark & Youqin Huang, 2003. "The Life Course and Residential Mobility in British Housing Markets," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 35(2), pages 323-339, February.
    10. John Stillwell & Serena Hussain & Paul Norman, 2008. "The internal migration propensities and net migration patterns of ethnic groups in Britain," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 5(2), pages 135-150, October.
    11. Hill Kulu & Fiona Steele, 2013. "Interrelationships Between Childbearing and Housing Transitions in the Family Life Course," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1687-1714, October.
    12. Charles Westoff & Norman Ryder, 1977. "The Predictive Validity Of Reproductive Intentions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 14(4), pages 431-453, November.
    13. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqildh09h482kc28p is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Malani, Anup & Reif, Julian, 2015. "Interpreting pre-trends as anticipation: Impact on estimated treatment effects from tort reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-17.
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    16. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
    17. William A V Clark & Youqin Huang, 2003. "The life course and residential mobility in British housing markets," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(2), pages 323-339, February.
    18. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
    19. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research. Part 2: Marriage and first birth," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-007, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    20. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(17), pages 485-498, November.
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