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Your Place - Your place or mine? On the residence choice of...

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Your place or mine? On the residence choice of young couples in Norway * by Katrine V. Løken Department of Economics University of Bergen [email protected] Kjell Erik Lommerud Department of Economics University of Bergen [email protected] Shelly Lundberg -Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara and Department of Economics, University of Bergen [email protected] March 2011 Abstract Norwegian registry data is used to investigate the location decisions of a full population cohort of young adults as they complete their education, establish separate households and form their own families. We find that the labor market opportunities and family ties of both partners affect these location choices. Surprisingly, married men live significantly closer to their own parents than do married women, even if they have children, and this difference cannot be explained by differences in observed characteristics. The principal source of excess female distance from parents in this population is the relatively low mobility of men without a college degree, particularly in rural areas. Despite evidence that intergenerational resource flows, such as childcare and eldercare, are particularly important between women and their parents, the family connections of husbands appear to dominate the location decisions of less-educated married couples. * * We thank Gordon Dahl, Kjell Salvanes and participants at a workshop at the University of Michigan (2009), a seminar at the University of Bergen (2009) and a workshop on Taxation and the Family in Munich (2010) for valuable comments. Løken and Lommerud thank the Research Council of Norway for financial support. Lundberg is grateful for financial support from the Castor Professorship in Economics at the University of Washington.
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1. Introduction The geographic proximity of parents and adult children has important implications for intergenerational contacts, transfers and, potentially, emotional ties ( Lawton, Silverstein and Bengtson, 1994 ). Considerable research has examined the determinants and consequences of distance between elderly parents and their children ( Hank, 2007 ) but less attention has been devoted to the early location decisions of the young. Young adults, when they leave school and establish independent households, must decide where to live. Residential location can be a decisive life choice, rivaled in importance only by the choice of a partner and a career and often closely connected with those decisions. Migration from a childhood home by young men and women in search of job opportunities or marriage partners means forgoing the benefits of proximity to parents and other kin, and relinquishing the economic and social value of hometown networks. These individual decisions become more complex when young adults form couples and
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This note was uploaded on 12/26/2011 for the course ECON 245a taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Your Place - Your place or mine? On the residence choice of...

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