The effect of long-distance family migration and motherhood on partnered women's labour-market activity rates in Great Britain and the USA

P. Boyle, T. Cooke, K. Halfacree, Darren Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many studies of long-distance family migration demonstrate that female partners are often disenfranchised in the labour market. One factor that has not been fully considered is the role of children. Heterosexual couples may be more likely to migrate in favour of the male 'breadwinner's' career if the couple have children, or are planning to commence childrearing in the foreseeable future. However, little work seems to have examined this empirically. The authors focus on the influence of 'motherhood' in different national contexts, using comparable census microdata for Great Britain and the United States. They test whether apparent 'tied migration' effects may in fact be influenced by family decisions related to childbearing/childrearing, and two sets of modelling results are provided. First, they examine whether the effects of long-distance family migration on women's labour-market status is influenced by the presence or absence of children of different ages. Second, they conduct the same analysis for women who have a high-status occupation. The results demonstrate that women in families with young children are most likely to be out of employment after family migration. A smaller, but similar, tied-migration effect exists for families with older children and families with no children. The same pattern exists for women in high-status occupations. Tied migration appears to influence women's labour-market status equally in Great Britain and the United States, regardless of the presence or absence of children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2097-2114
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume35
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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