WPS No.31 | (Hochstenbach, C., van Gent, W., Musterd, S.) (2018) | Shifting regional dynamics of life course

This paper investigates key transitions in household formation and dissolution in the Amsterdam region before, during and after the housing crisis of 2008. In contrast to expectations, mobility-related life-course transitions have not been affected by the crisis. Mobility rates among ‘stable’ households do show a decline though. However, changes appear between rental and ownership markets, as well as changes in the geography of life-course transitions.

Abstract

The geographical literature on life course holds that household mobility is a key mechanism to accommodate life-course transitions. Some transitions require at least one move (e.g. coupling or separating). As such the ability and conditions under which individuals are able to make these transitions, are highly contingent on housing market structures. The affordability and accessibility of housing does not only structure mobility but also the opportunities for life course transitions – as well as their spatiality. Recent cycles of housing booms and busts in West European and North American urban regions suggest that these regional demographic processes have been subject to change. Particularly the decrease in mobility rates in times of crises might suggest that individuals postpone transition-related moves.

This paper seeks to gain insight in how housing market conditions affect the regional geography of life course dynamics. It investigates key transitions in household formation and dissolution in the Amsterdam region before, during and after the housing crisis of 2008. We find that, in contrast to expectations, mobility-related life-course transitions have not been affected by the crisis. Mobility rates among ‘stable’ households do show a decline though. However, we see changes between rental and ownership markets, as well as changes in the geography of life-course transitions.

Keywords

Residential mobility; household formation; suburbanization; housing; Global Financial Crisis; young adults

Published by  CUS

22 August 2018