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Accounting for big city growth in low paid occupations: immigration and/or service class consumption

Ian R. Gordon and Ioannis Kaplanis ()

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: Growth of 'global cities' in the 1980s was supposed to have involved an occupational polarisation, including growth of low paid service jobs. Though held to be untrue for European cities, at the time, some such growth did emerge in London a decade later than first reported for New York. The question is whether there was simply a delay before London conformed to the global city model, or whether another distinct cause was at work in both cases. This paper proposes that the critical factor in both cases was actually an upsurge of immigration from poor countries providing an elastic supply of cheap labour. This hypothesis and its counterpart based on growth in elite jobs are tested econometrically for the British case with regional data spanning 1975-2008, finding some support for both effects, but with immigration from poor countries as the crucial influence in late 1990s London.

Keywords: regional labour markets; wages; employment; international migration; consumer demand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J21 J23 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2012-04
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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/44436/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Accounting for Big-City Growth in Low-Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service-Class Consumption (2014) Downloads
Journal Article: Accounting for Big-City Growth in Low-Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service-Class Consumption (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Accounting for big-city growth in low-paid occupations: immigration and/or service-class consumption (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Accounting for Big City Growth in Low Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service Class Consumption (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Accounting for Big City Growth in Low Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service Class Consumption (2012) Downloads
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