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Socio-Spatial Mobility in British Society

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Author Info

  • Clark, William A.V.

    ()
    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • van Ham, Maarten

    ()
    (Delft University of Technology)

  • Coulter, Rory

    ()
    (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

The research reported in this paper examines the nature and extent of socio-spatial mobility in the United Kingdom. In contrast with previous studies, we do not only investigate who moves out of deprived neighbourhoods, but our models cover the entire spectrum of neighbourhoods and provide a more complete interpretation of the process of mobility across socio-spatial structures. We use the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to classify neighbourhoods defined as small areas containing approximately 1500 people. We use the data from all available waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to trace moves between these neighbourhoods, classified into deprivation deciles. We define upward socio-spatial mobility as moving to neighbourhoods with lower levels of deprivation. The focus on residential choices and the outcomes – residential sorting – allows us to measure the fluidity of the British social structure. We show that restricted ability to compete for the better neighbourhoods combines with residence in neighbourhoods with relatively high degrees of deprivation to limit opportunities for social mobility. The analysis shows that education and income play critical roles in the ability of individuals to make neighbourhood and decile gains when they move. There are also powerful roles of being unemployed and being (and becoming) a social renter. Both these latter effects combine to seriously restrict the possibilities for socio-spatial movement for certain groups. The results suggest serious structural barriers to socio-spatial mobility in British society, barriers which are directly related to the organisation of the housing market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5861.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming as 'Spatial mobility and social outcomes. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment'
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5861

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Related research

Keywords: deprivation; socio-economic status; residential mobility; residential sorting; neighbourhoods;

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References

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  1. Maarten van Ham & David Manley, 2010. "The effect of neighbourhood housing tenure mix on labour market outcomes: a longitudinal investigation of neighbourhood effects," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 257-282, March.
  2. Kent Eliasson & Urban Lindgren & Olle Westerlund, 2003. "Geographical Labour Mobility: Migration or Commuting?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 827-837.
  3. Bergström, Lina & van Ham, Maarten & Manley, David, 2010. "Neighbourhood Choice and Neighbourhood Reproduction," IZA Discussion Papers 5238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Birgitta Rabe & Mark Taylor, 2010. "Residential mobility, quality of neighbourhood and life course events," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(3), pages 531-555.
  5. Shane Mathew Worner, 2006. "The Effects of Assortative Mating on Income Inequality: A Decompositional Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 538, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Samantha Friedman, 2011. "Bringing Proximate Neighbours into the Study of US Residential Segregation," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(4), pages 611-639, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter McHenry, 2012. "Does Low Wealth Constrain Long-Distance Migration? Evidence from the NLSY79 Cohort," Working Papers, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary 119, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

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