Re-thinking Residential Mobility

In his 1955 classic, Why Families Move, Peter Rossi showed that changes in household structure- such as the birth of a child- often alter people’s housing and neighbourhood preferences and motivate moving to a more suitable dwelling. Much of this residential mobility takes place over surprisingly short distances, with less than one third of British movers relocating more than 10km (Bailey and Livingston 2007).

Continue reading

Cultural Assimilation and the Well-being of Immigrants

With its 10.7 million of foreign-born residents (Statistiches Bundesamt, 2011), Germany represents the country with the largest number of international migrants in Europe. The assimilation of immigrants into the national culture is one of the hottest issues that policy makers have to face. On the 16th of October 2010, during a meeting of the younger members of the Christian Democratic Union, the German prime minister Angela Merkel contributed to the controversial debate on multiculturalism in her country by stating that “the approach [building] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other… has failed, utterly failed”.

Continue reading

Decomposing the Effect of Crime on Population Changes

How crime affects the migration decisions of individuals is important for two main reasons. First, increases in crime may cause individuals to leave a locality, which erodes the tax base required to address further increases in criminal justice and public safety initiatives. Additionally, crime may inflict other externalities, since long-distance moves are costly.

Continue reading

Does Climbing the ‘Social Ladder’ Increase Life Satisfaction? A Comparison of the UK and Switzerland

It is a widely held belief that status and wealth affect subjective well-being (SWB). This is reflected in the efforts of many people to climb up the ‘social ladder’ and to transcend their social background. By being upwardly mobile, they hope to benefit from various rewards they believe to be associated with desirable societal positions. However, findings from a range of disciplines provide evidence that these benefits are not to be taken for granted. Thus, we decided investigate the question of how upward social mobility impacts life satisfaction, the cognitive component of SWB.

Continue reading

Sibling Similarity in Family Formation

Sibling data have been widely used to analyze the impact of family background on status attainment. To a lesser extent, they have been utilized for examining family-of-origin effects on demographic outcomes, such as leaving the parental home, union formation, and fertility. This research gap is surprising in view of the increased interest in the interdependencies between demographic processes among family members and their role in the (re‑)production of social inequality across generations. We address this issue in our recently published paper on sibling similarities in family formation.

Continue reading

Occupational Mobility of Immigrants in Advanced Countries: How Do They Fare Between Home and Host Countries?

It is widely recognized that the performance in the labour market is a key element of the economic and social integration of immigrants in host countries. Thus, it is no surprise that the occupational attainment of immigrants and its evolution over time has been the focus of considerable attention in the academic literature. Whereas most of the empirical studies on this issue tend to compare the occupational mobility of immigrants with that of native workers, a particularly interesting alternative approach is to examine the occupational mobility of immigrants between their home and host countries.

Continue reading

Fertility in England and Wales – The Possible Role of Changes in the Timing of Childbearing Among the UK-Born and Immigrants

Over the last decade England and Wales has seen an increase in the total fertility rate (TFR) from a low of 1.63 in 2001 to 1.9 in recent years. While the TFR measures the current quantum of childbearing it can be influenced by changes in the timing of childbearing. Potential drivers of the increase in the TFR include increasing fertility among older women, increasing fertility among women in their 20s and possible influence from government benefits (e.g. tax credits and maternity and paternity leave) (ONS, 2013).

Continue reading

Family Background and Financial Literacy Outcomes

Following the aftermath of the economic collapse, we have witnessed a flood of financial education programmes oriented towards students of different age groups. Consumer-side financial education interventions have the potential to increase awareness of financial products, and influence behaviour such as saving and financial planning. More precisely, in developed countries many programmes emphasise preparation for retirement, the importance of saving, and the upbringing of an informed and conscious youth. These beneficial functions of financial education are well known by scholars interested in the field. What, however, seems to have been largely ignored up to this point is the role that financial knowledge plays within the process of intergenerational life-course mobility. My recent research has therefore attempted to fill this gap by establishing a connection between financial education and the socio-economic analysis of intergenerational persistence.

Continue reading