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Call: Current perspectives on spatial mobilities

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Call for Papers

Jointly organized with: Spatial Mobility Working Group of the Urban and Regional Sociology Section of the German Sociological Association (DGS)



30.3.2023 – 31.3.2023


Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
Regensburger Strasse 104
D-90478 Nuremberg, Germany

Keynote speakers

  • Clara Mulder (University of Groningen)
  • Sergi Vidal (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)


  • Sebastian Bähr (Institute for Employment Research, IAB)
  • Heiko Rüger (Federal Institute for Population Research, BiB)
  • Knut Petzold (Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences)


The deadline for the submission of abstracts (250-500 words) is November 15, 2022. Please submit documents as PDF files to:

Notification of acceptance will be given by December 15, 2022.

The workshop will take place in Nuremberg, Germany, and is planned as a face-to-face event with the possibility of taking part virtually. Please state your preference in your submission e-mail. Depending on the Covid-19-regulations, it might be necessary to host the workshop as an online-only conference.

Conference fee and traveling Costsc

There is no conference fee. IAB will sponsor refreshments and lunch during the workshop for all participants and the conference dinner (excluding beverages) on March 30 for presenters.


In the context of the digital transformation driven by COVID-19-induced changes in the labor market, educational system, and society in general, processes of spatial mobility are as relevant as ever. For instance, the widespread use of telework is decoupling individuals’ and households’ decisions about where to live and where to work. COVID-19 and lockdowns changed perceptions of what constitutes desirable and appropriate places to work, study, and live.

The influx of refugees into European countries following 2015 entailed many newcomers whose decisions about where to work and where to live are shaping their host countries in many respects. Research on refugees’ spatial mobility within host countries is therefore indispensable, especially in light of current events following the military conflict in Ukraine.

There have been significant methodological advances in recent years, with new data types being used for spatial mobility research. In particular, small-scale neighborhood-level and geolocated data allow for granulated analysis, while digital trace data from smartphones, sensors, or the Internet provide new and unique information. Combining these data with established survey or administrative data opens up promising new avenues for research.

In addition to these topics, the workshop will focus on a broad range of issues related to research on spatial mobilities, including internal migration, commuting, residential multi-locality, student mobility, virtual mobility, and others. Timely research on changing spatial mobility patterns and their implications for existing and emerging social inequalities is crucial. The workshop aims to bring together current research from sociologists, labor economists, demographers, geographers, and scholars from related fields.

A non-exhaustive list of topics is:

  • Spatial mobility in the labor market and the educational system
  • Mobility decisions of the unemployed
  • Gendered and household mobility patterns
  • Spatial mobility and social networks
  • Spatial mobility in the context of neighborhoods
  • (Im-)mobility patterns and mobility decision-making
  • Applications of innovative data sources, like geo-coded, linked, or digital trace data
  • New methods for analyzing spatial mobility


Organizing Committee of the Current Perspectives on Spatial Mobilities workshop

Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Dr. Sebastian Bähr

Regensburger Str. 104, D-90478 Nuremberg, Germany



Tuesday / November 15, 2022