Is London really the engine room? Migration, opportunity hoarding and regional social mobility in the UK

Publication date: 10 May 2017 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Theme: Employment & Social policy | External Author(s): Friedman, S; Macmillan, L | JEL Classification: J61, P25, Z13 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 240 | Publisher: Sage Publications, London

In their article Friedman and Macmillan explore for the first time regional differences in the patterning of occupational social mobility in the UK, examining how rates vary across 19 regions of England, Scotland and Wales. Their findings cast doubts on the dominant policy narrative on regional social mobility, which presents London as the national ‘engine-room’ of social mobility, revealing that those currently living in Inner London have experienced the lowest regional rate of absolute upward mobility, the highest regional rate of downward mobility, and a comparatively low rate of relative upward mobility into professional and managerial occupations. 

Keyword tags: 
social mobility
upward mobility
downward mobility
glass floor

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