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Occupational Characteristics, Occupational Sex Segregation, and Family Migration Decisions


Correspondence to: Francisco Perales, Institute for Social Science Research and School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, Australia.



This paper examines the effects of occupational characteristics on family migration within Britain. For the first time in the literature, we explicitly theorise and later test the impact of the sex composition of husbands' and wives' occupations on mobility decisions. The empirical analysis consists of panel regression models estimated on dyadic couple-level information from the British Household Panel Survey combined with occupational-level data from the UK Labour Force Survey. Results suggest that some occupational characteristics are significantly associated with family migration, whereas occupational sex segregation has limited impact. Although working in female-dominated occupations is related to a lower propensity to become a lead mover and a higher propensity to become a tied mover, these associations are mediated by the socio-economic and occupational characteristics of the spouses. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.