Contextualised Mobility Histories of Moving Desires and Actual Moving Behaviour

31 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2011

See all articles by Rory Coulter

Rory Coulter

University of St. Andrews

Maarten van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies; University of St. Andrews; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Conceptually, adopting a life course approach when analysing residential mobility enables us to investigate how experiencing particular life events affects mobility decision-making and behaviour throughout individual lifetimes. Yet although a growing body of longitudinal research links mobility decision-making to subsequent moving behaviour, most studies focus solely upon examining year-to-year transitions. As a result of this 'snap-shot' approach, little is known about how pre-move thoughts and subsequent mobility relate over longer periods within the context of dynamic life course trajectories. Current research therefore fails to distinguish ephemeral moving desires from those which are persistently expressed. This study is one of the first to move beyond investigating year-to-year transitions to explore the long term sequencing of moving desires and mobility behaviour within individual life courses. Using innovative techniques to visualise the sequences of a panel of British Household Panel Survey respondents, the study demonstrates that the meanings and significance of particular transitions in moving desires and mobility behaviour become apparent only when these transitions are arranged into individual mobility histories. We uncover previously ignored groups of individuals persistently unable to act in accordance with their moving desires. Visualising mobility histories also highlights the oft-neglected importance of residential stability over the life course.

Keywords: residential mobility, moving desires, life course, sequence analysis, longitudinal data

JEL Classification: J61, R23

Suggested Citation

Coulter, Rory and van Ham, Maarten, Contextualised Mobility Histories of Moving Desires and Actual Moving Behaviour. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6146. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968097

Rory Coulter (Contact Author)

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

Maarten Van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
Netherlands
+31 15 278 2782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.maartenvanham.nl

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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