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OnderzoekUrban and Regional Studies InstitutePopulation Research Centre

Spatial dimensions of the partner market

Principal researcher

Karen Haandrikman

Type of research

PhD research

Supervisors

Professor Inge Hutter, Professor Leo van Wissen and Dr Peter Groote

Collaboration

Statistics Netherlands, Demography Unit (mainly Carel Harmsen)

Summary of the project

The title of this PhD project is 'Spatial homogamy: Geographical dimensions of the partner market in the Netherlands'.

The objective of the project is to identify the importance of the spatial dimension of the partner market in the Netherlands. Most research on homogamy has focused on educational and occupational characteristics of partners. Studies have found that around the world, partners are homogamous regarding age, education, social class, and religion. We focus on spatial homogamy, which suggests that people are similar in terms of their geographical origin.

Unique integral microdata are used, enabling the study all new cohabiters and their migration histories. A quantitative spatial model of the partner market, based on the population register in combination with the so-called Social Statistical File indicates the role of spatial factors in patterns of partner selection. With the model, possible explanations for the existence of spatial barriers in the process of partner choice are revealed. To understand the matching mechanisms behind patterns, data from Netherlands Family Fertility Survey 2003 and the Social Statistical File on meeting places are analyzed. Moreover, regional variation in distances between partners is explained by using spatial econometrics including demographic, socio-economic, spatial and cultural variables. To understand preferences of partners themselves, a qualitative methodology is adopted.

Research questions are:  

  • What is the importance of spatial factors in current patterns of partner choice in the Netherlands?
  • To what extent are Dutch couples spatially homogamous?
  • Can regional and spatial patterns in spatial homogamy be identified?
  • Which factors explain patterns of spatial homogamy?
  • What role do meeting places play in spatial homogamy?
  • Which role does the spatial dimension play at the micro level? How important is distance in individual partner choice?

Publications

  • Haandrikman, K., C. Harmsen, L.J.G. van Wissen and I. Hutter (2008), Geography matters. Patterns of spatial homogamy in the Netherlands. Population, Space and Place, forthcoming.

Papers in progress

  • Haandrikman, K. and L.J.G. van Wissen (2008), Explaining the flight of Cupid's arrow. A spatial micro model of partner choice. Paper to be presented at the European Population Conference, 9-12 July, Barcelona.
  • Haandrikman, K. (2008), The role of meeting places in partner choice. Paper presented at the Dutch Demography Day, 9 October 2007, Utrecht.
  • Haandrikman, K., L.J.G. van Wissen, C. Harmsen and I. Hutter (2007), Explaining spatial homogamy. Socio-economic, spatial and cultural aspects of spatial homogamy in the Netherlands. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the PAA, 29-31 March 2007, New York.

Presentations

  • "The role of meeting places in partner choice". Presented at the Dutch Demography Day, 9 October 2007, Utrecht.
  • "Explaining spatial homogamy. Socio-economic, spatial and cultural aspects of spatial homogamy in the Netherlands". Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the PAA, 29-31 March 2007, New York; European Society for Geography (EUGEO), 20-22 August 2007, Amsterdam; European Regional Science Association conference, 29 August-2 September 2007, Paris; Invited workshop "The family and residential choice", 30 August-1 September 2007, Amsterdam.
  • "Spatial homogamy in the Netherlands. Distances between partners before cohabitation". Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, 30 March-1 April 2006, Los Angeles ( Download poster  (pdf)), and poster presented at the European Population Conference, 21-24 June 2006, Liverpool ( Download poster  (pdf)).
  • "Spatial homogamy. Geographical dimensions of the partner market in the Netherlands". Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the PAA, 31 March-2 April 2005, Philadelphia, and paper presented at 6th URSI conference, 1 June 2005, University of Groningen.
Last modified:15 November 2012 2.26 p.m.