Fertility Expectations and Residential Mobility in Britain

John Ermisch, University of Oxford
Fiona Steele, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

It is plausible that people take into account anticipated changes in family size in choosing where to live. The objective of the paper is to estimate how expected future fertility affects residential movement in Great Britain using a mature 18-wave panel survey, the British Household Panel Study. Many previous studies of residential movement claim that the numbers of children at different ages affect returns to or costs of movement. For example, the presence of school-age children may reduce mobility by raising the cost of moving. But the impact of existing children on mobility might operate through their impact on expected future childbearing (e.g. the more children a woman has the less likely she expects more). We find evidence of a positive effect of expecting to have more children on residential mobility, but considerable uncertainty about its size, which is dependent on other model assumptions.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors