Abstract

Fielding AJ. The Importance of Mobility and Regional Context in Shaping Individual Work Histories. In: Paper given to the Keizaichirigakkai meeting in Okayama City, Japan in January 2002. 2002.

This paper used Longitudinal Study data (census records linked at the individual level) for England and Wales to answer four questions about the relationships between migration and poverty: (i) do poor people migrate more than rich people? Answer: no, those who need to migrate the most (the low paid, unemployed and tenants) migrate the least, while those who need to migrate the least (professionals and managers, and home-owners) actually migrate the most!; (ii) do those who migrate escape poverty? Answer: on average, yes - there is a strong positive relationship between social promotion and migration; (iii) do the migrations of people to metropolitan regions increase or decrease the levels of poverty in those areas? Answer: both, because the effect of migration is to add people to both the top and the bottom of the social structure (and therefore to add to social polarization; and (iv) do gender and ethnicity affect the relationship between migration and poverty? Answer: definitely yes, for example, both men and women benefit from migration to the London region (but especially women), but only men benefit from migration from the London region, women lose! Also, there are big differences in social mobility between immigrant groups (eg South Asians and Afro-Caribbeans) and the host population. Finally, the paper introduced the concept of an 'escalator region', and demonstrated that the London region (South East England) acted as a kind of social class escalator region (ie as an engine of middle class formation) within UK space-economy.