Migration, occupational mobility, and regional escalators in Scotland

Maarten van Ham, Allan Findlay, David Manley, Peteke Feijten

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    This paper seeks to unpick the complex relationship between an individual’s migration behaviour, their place of residence, and their occupational performance in the Scottish labour market between 1991 and 2001. We investigate whether Edinburgh has emerged as an occupational escalator region and whether individuals moving there experience more rapid upward occupational mobility than those living and moving elsewhere. Using country of birth, we also control for an individual’s propensity to make long distance moves during earlier periods of their life course. Using data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study, linking 1991 and 2001 individual census records, and logistic regressions, we show that those who migrate over long distances within or to Scotland are most likely to achieve upward occupational mobility. We also found that Edinburgh is by far the most important regional escalator in Scotland; those moving to Edinburgh are the most likely to experience upward occupational mobility from low to high occupational status jobs. This is an important finding as most of the literature on escalator regions focuses on international mega cities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number827171
    Number of pages15
    JournalUrban Studies Research
    Early online date4 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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