MPIDR Working Paper

The effect of moving on union dissolution

Boyle, P. J., Kulu, H., Cooke, T., Gayle, V., Mulder, C. H.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-002, 33 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2006)
Open Access


This paper examines the effect of migration and residential mobility on union dissolution among married and cohabiting couples. While there is a large, multi-disciplinary literature looking at the determinants of union dissolution in Europe and North America, the possible impact of geographical mobility has received little attention. This is despite the fact that moving is a stressful life event and that numerous studies suggest that women’s economic well-being and employment suffer from family moves which are usually stimulated by the man’s career. We base our longitudinal analysis on retrospective event-history data from Austria and apply hazard regression. Our results show that couples who move frequently have a significantly higher risk of union dissolution. We argue that frequent moving increases couple stress and union instability through a variety of mechanisms.
Keywords: Austria, dissolution of marriage, event history analysis, internal migration, residential mobility
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.