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Urban Escalators and Inter-regional Elevators: The Difference that Location, Mobility and Sectoral Specialisation make to Occupational Progression

  • Tony Champion
  • Mike Coombes
  • Ian Gordon
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    This paper uses evidence from the (British) Longitudinal Study to examine the influence on occupational advancement of the city-region of residence (an escalator effect) and of relocation between city-regions (an elevator effect). It shows both effects to be substantively important, though less so than the sector of employment. Elevator effects are found to be associated with moves from slacker to tighter regional labour markets. Escalator effects, on the other hand, are linked with residence in larger urban agglomerations, though not specifically London, but also across most of the Greater South East and in second/third order city-regions elsewhere. Sectoral escalator effects are found to be particularly strong in knowledge-intensive activities, with concentrations of these, as of other advanced job types (rather than of graduate labour), contributing strongly to the more dynamic city-regional escalators. The impact of the geographic effects is found to vary substantially with both observed and unobserved personal characteristics, being substantially stronger for the young and for those whose unobserved attributes (e.g. dynamic human capital) generally boost rates of occupational advance.

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    File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/serc/publications/download/sercdp0139.pdf
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    Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0139.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0139
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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    1. Amin, Ash & Roberts, Joanne, 2008. "Knowing in action: Beyond communities of practice," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 353-369, March.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew G. Resseger, 2010. "The Complementarity Between Cities And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 221-244.
    3. Richard Florida, 2002. "Bohemia and economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 55-71, January.
    4. Bosio, Giulio, 2009. "Temporary employment and wage gap with permanent jobs: evidence from quantile regression," MPRA Paper 16055, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. K. Bruce Newbold & W. Mark Brown, 2012. "Testing and Extending the Escalator Hypothesis: Does the Pattern of Post-migration Income Gains in Toronto Suggest Productivity and/or Learning Effects?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(15), pages 3447-3465, November.
    6. de la Roca, Jorge & Puga, Diego, 2012. "Learning by working in big cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 9243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Molho, Ian, 1986. "Theories of Migration: A Review," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 396-419, November.
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