Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 477–497

Dual-earner migration. Earnings gains, employment and self-selection

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-009-0292-1

Cite this article as:
Rabe, B. J Popul Econ (2011) 24: 477. doi:10.1007/s00148-009-0292-1


This paper examines how spouses in dual-earner couples weigh each partner’s expected wage growth in the decision to migrate. Previous research suggests that husbands’ job prospects dominate the migration choice irrespective of their relative earnings potential. Based on British panel data, this paper employs an endogenous switching model and estimates wage differentials of migrating vs. staying for husbands and wives corrected for double selectivity of migration and employment. Dual-earner couples attach a positive weight to each partner’s expected wage gains when deciding to migrate. Moreover, migrant wives’ employment decreases temporarily, and there are significant selection effects in migration and employment amongst non-migrants.


Family migration Dual-earner couples Double selection 

JEL Classification

J61 D19 C35 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social and Economic ResearchUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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