Geographic Space and a Woman’s Place: The Gendered Relationship Between Geographic and Economic Mobility

Katariina Mueller-Gastell , Stanford University
David Pedulla, Stanford University

Women are less likely to apply to jobs that require geographic relocation than men. This difference is starkest for partnered men and women. We use unique and novel application level job search data to show that the differences between partnered men and women persist even when controlling for the gendered occupational make-up of these groups. Prior research -- without access to data on search behavior itself -- has been constrained to look at completed job moves (into a target occupation) rather than job applications (from an originating occupation). We replicate that gender differences appear smaller when controlling for target occupation and theoretically explain why such conditioning misses existing substantively significant gendered difference in actual search behavior. Further, we examine other explanations for gendered differences: the relative earnings of spouses, performative gender roles, and parental status. We present evidence that gender norms continue to carry strong explanatory power.

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 Presented in Session 78. Internal Migration