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Journal Article

What motivates residential mobility? Re-examining self-reported reasons for desiring and making residential moves


Publication date

May 2015


Understanding why people move home is an important objective for
population research. While studies are increasingly examining
residential mobility motivations using the reasons reported in social
surveys, data constraints and the conceptual legacy of behavioural
theories mean that little is known about how people's reasons for
desiring and making residential moves vary over the life course. In this
paper, we address these issues using longitudinal data from the British
Household Panel Survey. The results show that the reasons people report
for desiring to move vary considerably over the life course. People are
more likely to relocate if they desire to move for ‘targeted’ reasons
like employment opportunities than if they desire to move for more
‘diffuse’ reasons relating to area characteristics. Life course events
and moving desires intersect to strongly condition moving behaviour.
These insights demonstrate how a deep engagement with life course
theories can help researchers to overcome the difficulties encountered
when using behavioural models to understand moving decisions. Copyright ©
2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Published in

Population, Space and Place

Volume and page numbers

21 , 354 -371





Migration, Life Course Analysis, and Housing Market


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