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The impact of internal migration on married couples' earnings in Britain, with a comparison to the United States


  • Blackburn, McKinley L.


Previous studies have often suggested that wives experience a decline in labor-market fortunes after an internal migration of a married couple. This evidence is consistent with wives being 'tied movers' on average. I use the British Household Panel Survey to consider the extent to which wive earnings change systematically following a change in economic location for married couples within Britain. The results provide little evidence that a migration event is associated with increased earnings for husbands. On the other hand, there is some suggestion that wive earnings fall after a change in location, with most of this fall due to a decline in weeks of work for wives. This evidence is sensitive to the definition of a change in location, with the largest evidence of a negative effect on earnings arising when long-distance moves of more than 50 kilometers are examined. A comparison to evidence from the United States suggests the effects may be similar in the two countries, and do not provide statistical support for the notion that the lower migration rates in Britain are associated with greater benefits to migration than in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackburn, McKinley L., 2006. "The impact of internal migration on married couples' earnings in Britain, with a comparison to the United States," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-24

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    1. Larry Long & C. Tucker & William Urton, 1988. "Migration distances: An international comparison," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(4), pages 633-640, November.
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    4. Sandell, Steven H, 1977. "Women and the Economics of Family Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 406-414, November.
    5. John C. Ham & Xianghong Li & Patricia B. Reagan, 2004. "Propensity Score Matching, a Distance-Based Measure of Migration, and the Wage Growth of Young Men," Working Papers 2004_3, York University, Department of Economics.
    6. Rabe, Birgitta, 2006. "Dual-earner migration in Britain: earnings gains, employment, and self-selection," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-01, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Boheim, Rene & Taylor, Mark P., 2007. "From the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road? The wage returns to migration in Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 99-117, January.
    8. Tullio Jappelli & Maria Chiuri, 2000. "Financial Markets, Judicial Costs and Housing Tenure: An International Comparison," LIS Working papers 230, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    9. H. Makower & J. Marschak & H. W. Robinson, 1939. "Studies In Mobility Of Labour: Analysis For Great Britain, Part I," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 0(1), pages 70-97.
    10. Chiuri, Maria Concetta & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Financial Markets, Judicial Costs and Housing Tenure: An International Comparison," IRISS Working Paper Series 2000-04, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
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