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O brother, where art thou? The effects of having a sibling on geographic mobility and labour market outcomes

  • Rainer, Helmut
  • Siedler, Thomas

This paper formulates a model to explain how parental care responsibilities and family structure interact in affecting children’s mobility characteristics. Our main result is that the mobility of young adults crucially depends on the presence of a sibling. Siblings compete in location and employment decisions to direct parental care decisions towards their preferred outcome. Only children are not exposed to this kind of competition. This causes an equilibrium in which siblings exhibit higher mobility than only children, and also have better labour market outcomes. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we find evidence that confirms these patterns.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19784.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economica 303 76(2009): pp. 528-556
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19784
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  1. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2009. "Geographic labour mobility and unemployment insurance in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 267-283, April.
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  11. Richard V. Burkhauser & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Gert G. Wagner, 1997. "The German Socio-Economic Panel: A Representative Sample of Reunited Germany and its Parts," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 7-16.
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  15. Tennille J. Checkovich & Steven Stern, 2002. "Shared Caregiving Responsibilities of Adult Siblings with Elderly Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 441-478.
  16. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1999. "Microeconomic perspectives on aggregate labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 2985-3028 Elsevier.
  17. Ermisch, John, 2004. "Parent and adult-child interactions: empirical evidence from Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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