Does Work Pay? Spatial Variations in the Benefits of Employment and Coping Abilities of the Unemployed
Geoforum, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp.199-214, 2001
16 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2001
The aim of this paper is to evaluate whether there are spatial variations in first, the benefits of living in a household with wage earners rather than a wholly jobless household and second, the coping abilities of jobless households. To do this, 511 households in various neighbourhoods in a relatively affluent southern city and a poorer northern urban area in the UK are studied in terms of their ability to get tasks completed that they perceive as necessary. First, this reveals that one is better-off living in a jobless household in the northern than the southern city in terms of one's ability to get necessary tasks completed. Second, it finds that 'work pays' in this southern city more than the northern city. The gap between jobless and wage-earning households in their ability to get necessary tasks completed is far greater in the southern than the northern city. In so doing, the paper highlights the need for more comprehensive data on the regional variations in the cost-of-living for jobless and wage-earning households and for a fuller analysis of the regional impacts of national welfare-to-work policies as well as whether these need to be regionally differentiated in order to become more effective.
Keywords: informal economy, economic geography, uneven development, informal sector, livelihoods, spatial inequalities
JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31, R20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation