Spatial barriers to employment within metropolitan areas : testing the spatial mismatch hypothesis using evidence from firm relocations in the Glasgow conurbation
This thesis applies the spatial mismatch hypothesis to the Glasgow conurbation in Britain. It also develops an innovative methodology which addresses some of the methodological concerns associated with much previous work and allows three different types of spatial barrier to employment to be examined - commuting, residential mobility and job search / recruitment. Specifically, this thesis looks at firms which have relocated within the Glasgow conurbation. The number of employees who leave their job or move house because their employer relocates is examined in order to assess to what extent commuting and residential mobility are barriers to employment within metropolitan areas. Recruitment patterns to the firm's new sites are analysed in order to assess the extent of job search and recruitment as spatial barriers to employment. The results show that those without access to a car and those in lower-paid and lower-skilled jobs are least able to commute to the new sites, and are the least able to move house closer to work, and so consequently are more likely to leave their job. Those in higher paid and more secure jobs are more likely to move house closer to work. People recruited at the new sites tend to live much closer to the firms than the remaining original workforce, which suggests that across space, job search and recruitment processes, as well as social networks and other neighbourhood effects, may be greater barriers to employment than commuting. The theoretical and policy implications of these findings are discussed. It is argued that skills and spatial mismatches reinforce each other, and that this interaction needs to be incorporated into explanations of the relative importance of each. The proximity of jobs to neighbourhoods within metropolitan areas needs to be considered in understanding the level of unemployment in small areas.