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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 and Professor Leo van Wissen

PhD defense

Monday 21 June 2010 at 14.45 hours

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 the interplay  between preferences, norms and opportunities, a qualitative methodology is adopted. In the period May-June 2009, focus group discussions among younger and older participants will be conducted in the town of Vriezenveen.

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, Karen and Inge Hutter (2011), ‘That’s a different kind of person’ - Spatial connotations and partner choice. Population, Space and Place, forthcoming. DOI: 10.1002/psp.661.
  • Haandrikman, Karen, Leo J.G. van Wissen and Carel Harmsen (2011), Explaining spatial homogamy. Compositional, spatial and regional cultural determinants of regional patterns of spatial homogamy in the Netherlands. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy 4: 75-93. DOI: 10.1007/s12061-009-9044-6.
  • Haandrikman, Karen (2011), Spatial homogamy: The geographical dimensions of partner choice. Journal of Economic and Social Geography 102(1): 100-110.
  • Haandrikman, Karen (2010), The geographical dimensions of partner choice. Rozenberg Publishers, Amsterdam (PhD dissertation).
  • Haandrikman, K. (2010), Waar ontmoeten partners elkaar? Sociale differentiatie in ontmoetingsplaatsen [Where do partners meet? Social differentiation in meeting places]. Mens en Maatschappij 85 (2): 176-195.
  • Haandrikman, K., C. Harmsen, L.J.G. van Wissen & I. Hutter (2008), De geografische dimensie van partnerkeuze. Bevolkingstrends 56 (3): 19-28.
  • 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 14 (5): 387-405.
  • Haandrikman, K. (2007), Soort zoekt soort. Ontmoetingsplaatsen van partners. Demos 23 (10): 12-14. Download

Submitted papers

  • Haandrikman, K. and L.J.G. van Wissen, Explaining the flight of Cupid's arrow. A spatial random utility model of partner choice.
  • Haandrikman, K. and L.J.G. van Wissen, Regional variation in short distance homogamy and extreme spatial heterogamy.

Presentations

  • "The role of geographical distance in the decision making process of partner choice". Presented at IUSSP conference, 27 September-2 October 2009, Marrackech. The poster was nominated as one of the nine best posters in the session in which it was presented. The paper was also presented at the URSI conference, University of Groningen, November 9, 2009.
  • "Explaining the flight of Cupid's arrow. A spatial micro model of partner choice". Presented at the European Population Conference, 9-12 July 2008, Barcelona, and at the conference of the European Regional Science Association, 27-31 August 2008, Liverpool.
  • "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 ), and poster presented at the European Population Conference, 21-24 June 2006, Liverpool ( Download poster ).
  • "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.

Dissertation

Research in the News

Last modified:29 June 2016 09.21 a.m.