IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Postwar Restructuring of the British Housing and Labour Markets: A Critical Comment on Thorns


  • C Hamnett

    (Faculty of Social Science, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, England)


In a recent paper in this journal, Thorns sought to relate together changes in the labour and domestic property markets in Britain since World War II. He argued that it was important to analyse the operation of these markets and the extent to which they operate to reinforce social inequalities. In this paper, it is argued that, although the issues Thorns raises are important ones, his analysis and conclusions are marred by his treatment of regional differences and trends in the rate of house price inflation over time. By generalising from data over a single year, Thorns sought to show that there was a strong link between the gains received from the labour market and those from the domestic property market. Although there is no evidence at the regional level to support Thorns's assertions regarding the growth of interregional differentials in average house prices over time (if anything the evidence shows the reverse), it is suggested that the regional scale may not be the most appropriate scale of analysis, and some evidence is presented which indicates the possibility of growing inner-city/suburban differentials. Finally, it is argued that the concentration on owner occupiers may well obscure the equally, if not more important, changes which are occurring in the distribution of owner occupiers and council tenants. It is argued that there is a growing social and spatial polarisation between the two main tenures at the intraurban level; some evidence from London is presented to support this.

Suggested Citation

  • C Hamnett, 1984. "The Postwar Restructuring of the British Housing and Labour Markets: A Critical Comment on Thorns," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 16(2), pages 147-161, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:16:y:1984:i:2:p:147-161

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:16:y:1984:i:2:p:147-161. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.