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Title: On the improbability of identifying idealised spatial labour markets : an analytical approach using Scottish evidence
Author: Watt, Patrick J.
Awarding Body: University of Paisley
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2003
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The local labour market has gained increased importance in the UK in recent years, as a focus for policy formulation and implementation. However, the local labour market is often illdefined in spatial terms, with the defmition being implicit rather than explicit, or standard administrative areas are used without any reasoned justification. Alternatively, within the UK, standard pre-defined areas, most usually official travel-to-work-areas (TTWAs) , are adopted as suitable proxies for local labour market areas. Recent concerns have been raised in the UK regarding the validity of this approach in many cases, and this was a feature of the 1998 review of the TrW As within the UK. To counter these diverse approaches, with the consequent implications for the efficacy of spatially targeted labour market policies, a definition of idealised spatial labour market areas is constructed. Further to this, a large-scale empirical analysis of commuting information from the Scottish results of the 1991 Census of Population is undertaken, to test whether idealised spatial labour markets can be identified for distinct occupational groups, disaggregated by gender. The results of the analysis confirm the improbability of achieving idealised spatial labour market definitions using commuting data. However, it is suggested that introducing a common metric for the definition of spatial labour markets should have a beneficial effect in terms of transparency of analysis and consistency of approach. Such a metric would make explicit the suitability of an area for consideration as a spatial labour market, and would include notions both of self-containment and internal coherence. It is contended that such an approach would be more flexible than the current approach using standard areas. It also has the potential to incorporate separate analyses for different gender, occupational groups, ethnicity or other personal characteristics, whilst still retaining many of the key concepts and measures which underpinned the development of TTWAs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Local labour market Economics Labor