Panel Paper: Dual-Earner Migration Patterns: The Role of Locational Compatibility within Households

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Marriott Balcony A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Joanna Venator, University of Wisconsin, Madison

In this paper, I analyze how locational compatibility of married couples’ occupations affect their household migration decisions. First, I use indices of occupational agglomeration to explore whether spouses in occupations concentrated in similar regions are more or less likely to move and the implications of this compatibility on their earnings post-move. This descriptive data work suggests that if spouses’ careers are concentrated in similar locations or if spouses have similar preferred locations, they are more likely to both earn more and move more. I then build a structural model in which households decide whether to move as a function of occupation- location match and individual location preference shocks. I estimate the model using full information maximum likelihood with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, with separate estimation for households with married couples and for households with individuals. Using this model, I show that migration costs vary across occupation groups, with those in occupations that are more locationally disperse having lower migration costs. I then use the parameters estimates from the married couple’s model and the individual’s model to show that differences in migration rates across household types is not associated with systematically different preferences for married versus single individuals, but instead due to the increased costs of moving when a household has two people’s preferences to consider and the mismatch in returns to migration by occupation and location within a household.

Full Paper: