New City = New Friends? The Restructuring of Social Resources after Relocation


  • Natascha Nisic Universitaet Hamburg, School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
  • Sören Petermann Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity



Social capital, Residential mobility, Length of residence


Despite the significance of spatially proximate social contacts, there is little evidence about the effects of residential mobility on the social capital available to an individual. Based on theoretical considerations of the accumulation process of social capital after relocation, we derive hypotheses about the consequences of residential mobility on social capital. Firstly, we expect a partial devaluation of social capital in the origin region after the move and compensatory investments in social capital at the new location. Secondly, we assume that social capital increases with the length of residence and distinguish accumulation and consolidation phases. Multivariate analysis based on survey data yields the expected consequences of mobility. Movers and native residents possess an equal amount of social capital; however, the composition of social capital differs between the two groups. Additionally, we decompose the length of residence into several time intervals to provide evidence for both the constituting and consolidating phases in the creation of social capital.



How to Cite

Nisic, N. and Petermann, S. 2013. New City = New Friends? The Restructuring of Social Resources after Relocation . Comparative Population Studies. 38, 1 (May 2013). DOI:



Research Articles