Interrelationships between Housing Transitions and Fertility in Britain and Australia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Education

Abstract

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Publications

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Ermisch J (2012) Residential Mobility: Wealth, Demographic and Housing Market Effects in Scottish Journal of Political Economy

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Ermisch J (2016) Fertility expectations and residential mobility in Britain in Demographic Research

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Kulu H (2014) Residential context, migration and fertility in a modern urban society. in Advances in life course research

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Spallek M (2014) Holistic housing pathways for Australian families through the childbearing years in Longitudinal and Life Course Studies

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Steele F (2016) A Longitudinal Mixed Logit Model for Estimation of Push and Pull Effects in Residential Location Choice in Journal of the American Statistical Association

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Washbrook E (2014) Investigating non-ignorable dropout in panel studies of residential mobility in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics)

 
Description Several strands investigated the effect of the presence and age of children on migration and residential mobility, with a focus on the methodological challenges in such analyses. One paper compared different approaches to the analysis of household-level decisions using longitudinal individual-level data when household composition changes over time, and introduced new random effects models (Steele, Clarke and Washbrook, Sociological Methodology). These models have also been employed in analysis of residential mobility in Australia (Haynes and Martinez, submitted). In Britain the results show an increased chance of a move during pregnancy and shortly after a birth, but lower mobility among larger families and a decline in mobility with the age of the youngest child. Other methodological research considered the impact of non-ignorable attrition when drop-out is directly influenced by moving home (Washbrook, Clarke and Steele, J. Roy. Stat. Soc. C). Ermisch and Washbrook (Scottish Journal of Political Economy) focused on the effect of housing equity on residential mobility of home-owners under age 45. Moves among this group are likely to be motivated by the desire to 'upgrade' housing in terms of space for additional children or neighbourhood quality. The results suggest that the ability of households to realise their moving desires is inhibited by low equity in their current homes.

Another strand of research investigated spatial variation in fertility and the effect of local house prices. Kulu and Washbrook (Advances in Life Course Research) examined fertility variation between central London, London suburbs, other towns and cities, and small towns and rural areas. The analysis shows that fertility rates increase as settlement size decreases, a pattern that is not explained by migration of couples to smaller settlements in anticipation of childbearing. Washbrook (submitted) used monthly area-level house price data linked to individual-level data to explore the precise timing of the relationship between housing market conditions and fertility responses. The results reveal positive but temporary effects on the fertility of home-owners, in contrast to negative and longer-lasting effects on the fertility of renters.

The above research focused on either the effects of family changes on housing transitions or the effects of residential context and other housing-related factors on childbearing. Joint analysis of the two processes enhances our understanding of their interrelationship. Multichannel sequence analysis was used to study holistic housing pathways for Australian families (Spalek, Haynes and Jones, J. Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies). Comparative research of housing pathways in Australia and Britain is underway. Kulu and Steele (Demography) used multilevel simultaneous equations modelling, applied to rich Finnish register data, to analyse the relative timing of childbearing and housing changes.

Another strand of research considered the process by which individuals sort into different types of neighbourhood. A longitudinal mixed logit model was developed to estimate the effects of area characteristics on the decision to move from the current area ('push' effects) and on the choice of destination among movers ('pull' effects), allowing the importance of area factors to depend on measured and unmeasured household characteristics (Steele, Washbrook et al, submitted). Further research is in progress to apply this methodology in a study of neighbourhood choices of young families.
Exploitation Route The principal aim of the project was to develop appropriate methodology for examining the relationship between housing transitions and fertility and, more broadly, the analysis of longitudinal data on individuals and households. We therefore expect that the research will have most impact on the ways in which quantitative social scientists analyse longitudinal data. In the short term we anticipate that the methods developed under the project will be used primarily by academic researchers, with impact on the non-academic users arising indirectly through substantive research conducted by academic social scientists. Adoption by non-academics is a longer-term goal, which we believe is achievable given increasing recognition of methodological issues such as attrition, clustering and selection biases and implementation of methods developed under the project in statistical software.

In terms of the substantive findings of the research, the results of our analyses add to the evidence base on the constraints that many households face in decisions about whether to move house, and the timing and destination of a move. For example, our research on the effects of housing equity on homeowners' residential mobility and the differential effects of house prices on fertility for owners and renters provides important information on the consequences of rising house prices for families. Our research on fertility variation by residential context further supports the importance of housing availability and costs on couples' decision to have a child.

Our ongoing research on how push and pull effects in neighbourhood choice depend on household characteristics contributes to understanding of the evolution of socio-spatial segregation. Such information can inform policies aimed at assisting disadvantaged groups such as low-income households, single parents and social housing tenants.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy

URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/research/housing/
 
Description The primary aim of the project was to develop statistical methods for joint modelling of housing careers and childbearing using household panel data, while accounting for common features of panel data such as attrition and changes in household composition over time. Although motivated by questions concerning the relationship between housing transitions and fertility, the research had a methodological focus. Our strategy was therefore to publish methodological research in leading applied statistics and social science methods journals, followed by more substantively-oriented research which makes use of the new methods. An example of this strategy is our research on push and pull effects in neighbourhood choice which involved developing a longitudinal discrete-choice model to estimate the effects of area characteristics on the decision to move from the current area and on the choice of destination among movers, allowing for the importance of area factors to depend on changes in household circumstances and unmeasured household characteristics. This work is currently under revision for the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and further research is in progress to apply the same methods in a study of neighbourhood choice of young families. To date we have 3 working papers which apply methodological research conducted under the project to studies of the effects of the presence and age of children on residential mobility and location choice. This work has been disseminated through conferences and seminars and, once it has been through the peer review process, briefing notes will be prepared to publicise the findings to a general audience. This phase of the project has taken longer than anticipated because of a reduction in the time the project researcher was able to commit in the final year of the project following her appointment to a lectureship and subsequent award of a research fellowship. For the above reasons, the impact of the research has been largely scientific. In the longer-term, research conducted under the project has the potential to achieve societal and economic impact in two ways: (i) indirect impact through application of methods developed under the project by academics engaged in policy research and in research commissioned by government and third sector organisations, and (ii) a direct impact of findings from our substantive research on housing and fertility. Project research has been disseminated in the following ways: articles in journals across a range of disciplines (demography, economics, sociology and statistics), seminars, conference presentations in the UK and overseas, a one-day symposium funded by the project, and two 2-day short courses on multilevel event history analysis. To date, the research has resulted in 6 journal articles, 2 revise and resubmits and a further 3 working papers. There have been 34 seminars and conference presentations, 14 of which have been outside the UK. A one-day symposium on "Recent advances in research on housing transitions and the life course" was held in December 2013 at the Royal Statistical Society in London. As well as presentations on research from the project, there were 5 invited speakers including leading figures in housing research such as Prof William Clark (UCLA) and Prof Clara Mulder (University of Groningen). The event attracted a total of around 60 participants, including non-academics (e.g. from Office for National Statistics, Department for Work and Pensions, National Housing Federation, Housing Futures Ltd and London Borough of Tower Hamlets). To build capacity in longitudinal data analysis we held two short courses on multilevel event history analysis. These provided training for 45 participants, and many more have been able to access our extensive materials from the project website. The materials include slides and computer practicals in Stata and MLwiN, which show in detail how to prepare and analyse data in statistical software. We have also written online appendices to methodological journal articles which include annotated syntax for Stata, aML, MLwiN and SAS. Future capacity building plans include a session on analysing longitudinal households at Understanding Society's Scientific Conference in July 2015. The conference provides a forum for discussing good practice in the analysis of household panel data, and our session will draw on project research on methods for the study of household effects when household composition changes over time.
First Year Of Impact 2015
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area characteristics (CASE LSE, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar for Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area characteristics (ISER, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar for Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Essex

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area characteristics (IoE, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar for Department for Quantitative Social Sciences, Institute of Education, London

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area characteristics (LSE, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar for Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area characteristics (Liverpool, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at joint Geography-Planning and Methods meeting, University of Liverpool

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A longitudinal analysis of residential choice in England: Differential push and pull effects of area deprivation (Brisbane, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar at Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description A mixed logit model for estimation of push and pull effects in residential location choice (Southampton, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Seminar at Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI), University of Southampton

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Do high house prices deter fertility? Evidence from England and Wales (PAA poster, E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Poster presentation at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Holistic housing pathways for Australian families through the childbearing years (Australian Housing Conference, Speaker: Spallek) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Australian Housing Research Conference, Perth, Australia

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Housing and fertility in Britain (RSS symposium, Speaker: H. Kulu) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Recent Advances in Research on Housing Transitions and the Life Course symposium, Royal Statistical Society

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Modelling household decisions with individual-level longitudinal data (Oxford, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Part of University of Oxford Nuffield College sociology seminar series

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Modelling residential mobility: allowing for intra-household correlation and changing household membership (ISER, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact seminar for Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Essex

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Modelling the relationships between household residential mobility and childbearing over the life course in Australia (Amsterdam, Speaker: M. Haynes) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies International Conference, Amsterdam

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Multilevel event history models with applications to the analysis of recurrent employment transitions (Belfast, Speaker: F. Steele) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presented at Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.cardi.ie/events/northernirelandlongitudinalstudyresearchforumguestlecturefionasteele
 
Description Neighborhood choice in England: How do young families choose where to live? (Columbia, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Seminar at Columbia University, New York

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Neighbourhood choice of young families in England (RSS symposium, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Recent Advances in Research on Housing Transitions and the Life Course symposium, Royal Statistical Society

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Neighbourhood choice of young families in England: A longitudinal discrete choice approach (Northwestern, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Advanced Quantitative Methods Workshop, Northwestern University

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Nonresponse bias in studies of residential mobility (CMPO Bristol, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Nonresponse bias in studies of residential mobility (IoE, Speaker: E. Washbrook) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Seminar at Institute of Education

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Residential context, migration and fertility (PAA, Speaker: H. Kulu) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Residential context, migration and fertility in Britain (BSPS, Speaker: H. Kulu) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at British Society for Population Studies conference, Swansea

None reported
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Short course on Discrete-time Event History Analysis (July 2013) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A short course on Discrete-time Event History Analysis was held in Bristol, July 2013. This was a repeat of the course held in September 2012. The course was attended by 25 researchers from the UK and overseas. Attendees were mainly postgraduate research students and early career researchers. The course materials (slides and Stata practicals) are available on the project website.

The course evaluations were excellent.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/research/housing/
 
Description Short course on Discrete-time Event History Analysis (September 2012) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A short course on Discrete-time Event History Analysis was held in Bristol, September 2012. The course was attended by 25 researchers from the UK and overseas. Attendees were mainly postgraduate research students and early career researchers. The course materials (slides and Stata practicals) are available on the project website.

The course evaluations were excellent.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/research/housing/