9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty

Leaving the city in the face of unemployment and unemployment risk

In modern societies, unemployment is one of the mostly feared risks in everyday life. Starting from the thesis, that unemployment is an issue which forces individual migration decision-making, two possible causes for our difficulties to measure this relation are discussed:
(1) Timing. Facing the risk of unemployment could be the main source for search activities in regard to another job. Therefore persons who are employed and perceive a high risk of becoming unemployed are expected to begin considering migration. Thinking of migration as a possible way to act should go hand in hand with search activities in a greater area, which in turn should increase the opportunities to find a job. Therefore, the decision in favour of migration is expected take place while people are employed or while they have become unemployed recently.
(2) Region. Living in a "deprived region" should go along with a relatively high propensity to perceive risks of becoming unemployed. Additionally, living in a region with high unemployment rates is expected to trigger migration decision-making because of a perceived lack of opportunities at the place of residence.
This contribution aims to disentangle these influences on the relationship between unemployment and migration, using a dynamic model of migration decision-making and behaviour. Other factors which are influencing the migration process are taken into account as well, whereas education receives special attention.
The data comes from a study in two middle-sized cities, one situated in a "deprived region" and one situated in a ?prosperous region? in Germany, with initially 2,400 respondents. It is a panel study with three waves, including an event-history module. Making use of Generalized Ordered Logistic Regression the expected influences on the stages within migration decision-making  not considering - considering - planning migration - will be estimated, whereas migration refers to moving beyond the city boundaries. Data from the event-history module will be used to analyse the expected timing effects in detail.