Family Migration and Relative Earnings Potentials

65 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2016

See all articles by Mette Foged

Mette Foged

University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics


A unitarian model of family migration in which families may discount wives' private gains is used to derive testable predictions regarding the type of couples that select into migrating. The empirical tests show that gender neutral family migration cannot be rejected against the alternative of husband centered migration. Couples are more likely to migrate if household earnings potential is disproportionally due to one partner, and families react equally strongly to a male and a female relative advantage in educational earnings potential. These results are driven by households with a strong relative advantage to one of the partners while results are less clear for small dissimilarities within the couple, suggesting that gender identity norms may play a role when the opportunity costs of adhering to them are small.

Keywords: international migration, family migration, gender identity norms, selection

JEL Classification: F22, D19, J16, J61

Suggested Citation

Foged, Mette, Family Migration and Relative Earnings Potentials. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10180, Available at SSRN:

Mette Foged (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics ( email )

Oester Farigmagsgade 5, Building 26
Copenhagen K, 1353
+45 35323582 (Phone)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics