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Going nowhere?:Rural youth employment, social capital and migration in Britain

Culliney, Martin (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis addresses the lack of literature on rural youth employment prospects. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey and fieldwork conducted in the West Midlands, I ask to what extent is rural location a labour market disadvantage for young people? Social capital, identified as a pertinent concept in the few previous studies, is operationalised in terms of two constituent elements: norms, affecting youth earnings, and networks, determining one’s ability to find work – more so in rural areas than in urban, due to the relative absence of big business, and nepotistic recruitment practices. Transport is also a more significant barrier to employment for rural youth. I find that rural youth earn less than urban counterparts despite rural wages being higher overall. This pay penalty is a distinctly rural youth disadvantage, and can last well into adulthood for those who do not relocate to urban areas. In conclusion, I argue that investment in rural jobs and public transport or vehicle lease schemes would improve rural youth employment prospects. If such investment is not forthcoming, relocation schemes might extend opportunities to those willing to migrate for work.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Cheung, Sin Yi and McKay, Stephen
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Applied Social Studies
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4624
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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