Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

No 33: Sex and Migration: Who is the Tied Mover?

Johanna Åström and Olle Westerlund ()
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Johanna Åström: The Swedish Retail Institute (HUI), Postal: Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden and Department of Economics, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Olle Westerlund: Umeå University, Postal: Department of Economics, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: We study the effects of interregional migration on two-earner household gross earnings as well as on the relative income between married and cohabiting couples. In particular, we examine the link between education level and income gains. The empirical analysis is based on longitudinal data from Sweden as well as on functional regional labour markets that operate as regional entities. Using difference-in-differences propensity score matching, we find that migration increases total gross household earnings and has no significant impact on the male/female earnings gap. We find that pre-migration education level is a key determinant of migration and economic outcomes and is also a determinant of the effect of migration on income distribution within the household. The positive average effect on household earnings is largely explained by income gains among highly-educated males. Females generally experience no significant income gain from migration in absolute terms. Females gain significantly in relative income only if they are highly educated and married or cohabitating with a lower-educated male.

Keywords: Regional migration; labor mobility; two earner households

JEL-codes: D10; J61

26 pages, July 8, 2011

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