Volume 39 - Article 43 | Pages 1151–1180  

Putting family centre stage: Ties to nonresident family, internal migration, and immobility

By Clara H. Mulder

This article is part of the Special Collection 24 "Spatial mobility, family dynamics, and gender relations"


Background: Despite research paying increasing attention to intergenerational care and geographical distance between family members, the role played in internal migration and immobility in industrialised countries by ties to family living outside the household has remained understudied and poorly theorised.

Objective: I propose a novel perspective on internal migration and immobility that complements existing perspectives: the family ties perspective. This perspective focuses on the role of family outside the household in internal migration and immobility. An agenda for research applying this perspective is also presented.

Contribution: I suggest how ties to family outside the household (denoted as ‘family ties’) can be introduced into cost-benefit approaches of migration, and argue how migration and immobility are related to the linked lives of family members. I also put forward ideas on how the role of family ties differs between individuals, between life-course stages, and between contexts. I go on to argue how previous models of internal migration and estimations of effects of migration on individual labour market outcomes might be biased by not taking into account the impact of family ties. Finally, I present an agenda for research on internal migration and immobility that pays due attention to ties to family outside the household.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Family life transitions, residential relocations, and housing in the life course: Current research and opportunities for future work: Introduction to the Special Collection on “Separation, Divorce, and Residential Mobility in a Comparative Perspective”
Volume 43 - Article 2

Nonresident family as a motive for migration
Volume 42 - Article 13

Separation, divorce, and housing tenure: A cross-country comparison
Volume 41 - Article 39

Differences in leaving home by individual and parental education among young adults in Europe
Volume 37 - Article 63

Union dissolution and migration
Volume 34 - Article 26

Family dynamics and housing: Conceptual issues and empirical findings
Volume 29 - Article 14

Geographical distances between adult children and their parents in the Netherlands
Volume 17 - Article 22

Population and housing: A two-sided relationship
Volume 15 - Article 13

A comparative analysis of leaving home in the United States, the Netherlands and West Germany
Volume 7 - Article 17

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