Life events and the gap between intention to move and actual mobility

07-02-2011 | Publication

Life events are frequently mentioned as a reason why people do not behave according to their mobility intentions. However, there is little empirical evidence concerning the role of life events in the discrepancy between stated mobility intentions and actual mobility behaviour.

The authors clarify the role of life events in this discrepancy using a longitudinal dataset from the Netherlands, in which the Housing Demand Survey 2002 is enriched with register data from the Social Statistical Database. Union dissolution, union formation, and childbirth trigger moves among people who had initial intended to stay in the current home.

These events also act as an extra stimulus to move for those who already intended to move for reasons other than household or job change. In contrast, the event of losing a job prevents people from realising their intention to move. The results also suggest that the majority of the moves after union dissolution are made by people who did not have an initial intention to move.