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In search of the skilled city: skills and the occupational evolution of British cities

In search of the skilled city: skills and the occupational evolution of British cities
In search of the skilled city: skills and the occupational evolution of British cities
Recent research has argued that human capital has become the key driver of city growth and that there is a widening divergence between high and low-skill cities. This skilled city view includes several stylised propositions. The first is that more skills and human capital generate stronger economic growth; the second is that already skilled cities are becoming ever more skilled; and, the third is that larger cities tend to have stronger concentrations of, and faster
growth in, high-skilled, cognitive occupations. Using a detailed dataset for occupational change in 85 urban Travel to Work Areas in Britain between 1981 and 2015, this paper evaluates whether these propositions apply to British urban evolution, and how they relate to the ‘hollowing-out’ of medium-skilled jobs. The results confirm the close interactive relationship between growth and high-skilled occupations. However, some of the skilled city propositions,
such as ‘smart cities becoming smarter’, and a positive relationship between agglomeration and high skilled employment growth, do not apply in Britain where other factors have been more important. The pattern of high-skill growth has shown a strong regional dimension, and the ‘emergence’ of newer smaller cities, particularly in southern England has been more evident than the ‘resurgence’ of large core and industrial cities.
0042-0980
Sunley, Peter
a3efb579-965f-4f39-812e-9e07caf15afd
Martin, Ron
ad720151-5d75-4a85-862d-fabf442e7033
Gardiner, Ben
563f35bc-2e28-496e-9e4d-15537c4cfd83
Pike, Andy
08f21e9e-b4f9-449e-b432-e56fa2832a24
Sunley, Peter
a3efb579-965f-4f39-812e-9e07caf15afd
Martin, Ron
ad720151-5d75-4a85-862d-fabf442e7033
Gardiner, Ben
563f35bc-2e28-496e-9e4d-15537c4cfd83
Pike, Andy
08f21e9e-b4f9-449e-b432-e56fa2832a24

Sunley, Peter, Martin, Ron, Gardiner, Ben and Pike, Andy (2019) In search of the skilled city: skills and the occupational evolution of British cities. Urban Studies. (doi:10.1177/0042098019834249).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recent research has argued that human capital has become the key driver of city growth and that there is a widening divergence between high and low-skill cities. This skilled city view includes several stylised propositions. The first is that more skills and human capital generate stronger economic growth; the second is that already skilled cities are becoming ever more skilled; and, the third is that larger cities tend to have stronger concentrations of, and faster
growth in, high-skilled, cognitive occupations. Using a detailed dataset for occupational change in 85 urban Travel to Work Areas in Britain between 1981 and 2015, this paper evaluates whether these propositions apply to British urban evolution, and how they relate to the ‘hollowing-out’ of medium-skilled jobs. The results confirm the close interactive relationship between growth and high-skilled occupations. However, some of the skilled city propositions,
such as ‘smart cities becoming smarter’, and a positive relationship between agglomeration and high skilled employment growth, do not apply in Britain where other factors have been more important. The pattern of high-skill growth has shown a strong regional dimension, and the ‘emergence’ of newer smaller cities, particularly in southern England has been more evident than the ‘resurgence’ of large core and industrial cities.

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Accepted/In Press date: 23 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 April 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428727
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428727
ISSN: 0042-0980
PURE UUID: 14fbbcb9-a701-48c0-8b4b-ce2a5bfb3564

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Date deposited: 07 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 13 Aug 2019 16:30

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