Volume 39 - Article 43 | Pages 1151–1180

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

By Clara H. Mulder

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Date received:26 Apr 2018
Date published:05 Dec 2018
Word count:6464
Keywords:family, intergenerational relationships, international migration


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

Clara H. Mulder - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands [Email]

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» Geographical distances between adult children and their parents in the Netherlands
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» Population and housing: A two-sided relationship
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» A comparative analysis of leaving home in the United States, the Netherlands and West Germany
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