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

Culliney, Martin (2013). Going nowhere?:Rural youth employment, social capital and migration in Britain. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Redacted Version

Download (2MB)


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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Applied Social Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4624


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year