IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Geography of Employment Polarisation in Britain

Listed author(s):
  • Ioannis Kaplanis


This paper investigates the regional and subregional patterns of employment polarisation in Great Britain. Extending recent econometric evidence for employment polarisation at the national level, the focus of analysis is to examine the geography of this polarisation. Methodological issues on how we define and measure ‘job polarisation’ are presented and plausible theories for explaining this polarisation are reviewed. It has been suggested that low-quality jobs, defined either as low-paid jobs or low-skill jobs, depend increasingly on the growth of employment and wages of high-quality jobs. The presence of a growing high-income workforce in the economy generates consumer demand for local services leading this way to an increase in the low-skill employment sector. As these local services refer mainly to the non-traded sector of the economy, this hypothesis implies physical proximity of the low-skilled and high-skilled jobs. Therefore, in the empirical part of the paper, econometric techniques are used in order to investigate the location of job polarisation. Specifically, we examine whether employment polarisation happens within regions or just across regions and test further for such evidence at the subregional level and neighbouring localities. New Earnings Survey (NES) microdata that span over a long time period and are workplace-based are used for such purposes. Furthermore, evidence for dependency of low-skill jobs on high-skill ones at the local level and possible urban-specificity of the phenomenon are investigated. Taking into account the importance of employment shifts, changes in median wages of the different jobs and within job-inequality for explaining the increase in earnings inequality in GB in the recent decades, the contribution of employment polarisation to the actual rise in inequality is examined. Additionally, the paper examines whether employment polarisation patterns are associated with regional differences in the labour force composition.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa06p597.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2006
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p597
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  2. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2000. "Mind the Gap, Please: The Changing Nature of Entry Jobs in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(268), pages 499-524, November.
  3. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p597. 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: (Gunther Maier)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.