Why do people stay? Insider advantages and immobility
The low mobility of people in Europe is considered a problem for adjustment to asymmetric shocks and regional convergence in the European Monetary Union. We suggest a complement to the traditional migration theories, the insider advantages approach to explain why most Europeans prefer to stay. Staying immobile they have accumulated work- and leisure-oriented insider advantages that are location-specific and would be lost in the case of emigration. Therefore, the longer people have stayed -and the more insider advantages they have accumulated-, the less likely they are to move. Using a new micro dataset covering all people resident in Sweden in 1994 and their mobility experience since 1985, we find a strong positive duration dependence of the probability to stay. Traditional micro-economic characteristics prove helpful in explaining immobility, while regional macro-economic differences have surprisingly little impact on individual mobility decisions. A large proportion of the moves between Swedish labour markets seem to be related to specific life-course events rather than to pure labour market issues.
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