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Title: The effect of internal migration on the socioeconomic composition of neighbourhoods in England
Author: Jivraj, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 9038
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis determines the extent to which internal migration affects the socioeconomic composition of neighbourhoods in England and how its impact compares with that of other components of area change. It is hypothesised that the selective character of internal migration contributes to increased concentration of poverty in the most deprived neighbourhoods. The focus of the analysis at this small spatial scale will interest policy makers who have sought to reverse the spiral of socioeconomic decline in selected neighbourhoods through area-based regeneration initiatives. It will also add to neighbourhood change theory that assumes internal migration is widening spatial inequalities, which has rarely been empirically tested. The analysis is conducted using an administrative dataset called the School Census. The School Census enables detailed geographical analysis that is not possible with existing datasets used to measure internal migration in the UK. The thesis demonstrates the potential of the School Census for migration research and its usefulness in shaping policy. Change in the socioeconomic composition of a neighbourhood can be measured using the proportion of pupils claiming Free School Meals (FSM), which is widely used as a measure of poverty in educational research. The change in the concentration of FSM pupils is uniquely analysed at varying spatial scales to determine an appropriate neighbourhood level at which to conduct further analysis. The effect of internal migration on neighbourhood socioeconomic change is analysed using a growth model for Lower Super Output Areas. It shows that internal migration contributes to increased concentration of FSM pupils in the most deprived neighbourhoods. However, the effect is small. The effect of pupils changing their FSM status but not moving (in-situ change) is more dominant and reduced the concentration of FSM pupils in the most deprived neighbourhoods during the period 2002-2007. These findings contribute to a small but growing literature that suggests the effect of internal migration is minor when compared with in-situ change. Factors related to internal migration at the neighbourhood level are modelled using linear and spatial regression. A number of characteristics are found to be similarly associated with net migration of FSM and non-FSM pupils. This suggests there is an element of choice exercised by all families with school children when they move. However, there are discriminating effects, including school quality, that are related to higher net migration of non-FSM pupils but not FSM pupils. Moreover, the effects of some neighbourhood characteristics on migration including worklessness are shown to vary across different parts of the country. These findings suggest policy makers should be sensitive to local contexts when planning public service provision.
Supervisor: Brown, Mark. ; Finney, Nissa. Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internal migration ; School Census ; Free School Meals ; Neighbourhood change