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Residential mobility, quality of neighbourhood and life course events

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Neighbourhood characteristics affect the social and economic opportunities of their residents. Although various studies have analysed housing adjustments at different life stages, little is known about neighbourhood quality adjustments, or movements into ‘better’ or ‘worse’ neighbourhoods. On the basis of a model of optimal housing consumption we analyse the determinants of residential mobility and the associated neighbourhood quality adjustments, drawing on data from the British Household Panel Survey and indices of multiple deprivation. We measure quality of neighbourhood both subjectively and objectively and find that not all life course events that are associated with moves lead to neighbourhood quality adjustments. Single people are negatively affected when ceasing to live with parents and couples by a husband's unemployment. Couples having a new baby move into better neighbourhoods.

Keywords: British Household Panel Survey; Indices of multiple deprivation; Life course events; Migration; Quality of neighbourhood; Residential mobility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Essex, Colchester, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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