MPIDR Working Paper

Migration and union dissolution in a changing socio-economic context: the case of Russia

Muszynska, M. M., Kulu, H.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-032, 21 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (October 2006)
Open Access


A growing body of literature looks at the consequences of family migration from a gender perspective. The studies show that women’s economic well-being and employment suffer from family migration, which is usually stimulated by the career of the male earner in the family. This study extends current research on the subject by examining the effect of family migration on union dissolution. We use the event-history data of two retrospective surveys from Russia and apply hazard regression. The analysis shows that couples who move frequently over long distances have a significantly higher risk of union dissolution than couples who do not move or move only once. Our further analysis reveals that the risk of disruption for frequent movers is high when the migrant woman has a job. Frequent migrants had a high risk of union dissolution in the Soviet period but not so during the post-Soviet socio-economic transition. We argue that frequent moving increases union instability through a variety of mechanisms, the effect of which may vary across socio-economic contexts, however.
Keywords: Russian Federation, divorce, event history analysis, internal migration
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.