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International Family Migration and the Dual-Earner Model

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  • Martin D. Munk
  • Till Nikolka, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
  • Panu Poutvaara, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
We analyze couples’ joint decisions about emigration and labor force participation using survey data on Danish emigrants, combined with full population administrative data. Couples are most likely to emigrate if
the male partner or both partners hold a college degree and least likely to emigrate if neither of the partners is college educated. Probability that a dual-earner couple emigrates increases with the primary earner’s income. In most couples, both partners work before emigration, while after migrating outside the Nordic countries almost half of the women stay at home. Survey responses reveal that men mainly migrate for work reasons and women for family reasons. Our findings suggest that the dual-earner model may not be strongly ingrained among emigrating couples. Instead, female labor force participation abroad varies widely between different destinations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Pages (from-to)263–287
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Invitation to revise and resubmit (July 19, 2020), revised and resubmitted (October 14, 2021 and December 18, 2021), accepted December 21/29, 2021, e-pub head of publication, January 27, 2022, published March 15, 2022

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