This study investigates residential mobility and housing tenure changes among separated and divorced individuals in five countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK) with similar levels of economic development, but different welfare provisions and housing markets. While there are a number of studies examining tenure changes related to separation in selected individual countries, only very few have compared patterns across countries. Using longitudinal data and applying Poisson regression models, we study the risk of a residential move and tenure change of separated men and women in comparison with cohabiting and married individuals. We distinguish between moves due to separation and moves of separated individuals. We expect to observe high residential mobility levels among separated men and women; mobility rates are expected to be the highest shortly after separation; they decrease gradually as time since separation increases. Separated individuals are expected to move from homeownership to privately owned dwellings; social housing may also be an important destination in some countries. We expect divorced individuals in countries with flexible housing markets to return to homeownership soon after separation, whereas those in constrained housing context will experience a period of prolonged residential instability with many tenure changes.
Keywords: divorce, separation, housing tenure, residential mobility, Poisson regression, cross-national comparison
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