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Life course events and residential change: Unpacking age effects on the probability of moving

Abstract

We know that life course events, especially divorce and separation, trigger residential moves, but we know less about how these and other life course events intersect with how far people move and the relationship with labour market change. This research uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Survey in Australia to model a set of life course events and their intersection with the distance of move. I examine essentially positive events, marriage and new births and not so positive events, separation and divorce, and the unexpected events of widowhood and job loss, and their outcomes in the housing market. For the decision to move, the models partly parallel other studies of life course events and their role in the mobility decision, but the results provide enriched results about how age and life course events intersect. The analysis shows in greater detail how age acts as a proxy for complicated life course intersections with moving. The disruption of divorce and separation, as expected, increases the probability of moving but with different effects over distance. Households move in response to these life events but they are much less likely to change metropolitan locations, which reflects the embedded nature of family change and location. Overall, the research enriches previous studies of age-related links to migration and mobility. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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