Does Segregation Reduce Socio-Spatial Mobility? Evidence from Four European Countries with Different Inequality and Segregation Contexts

21 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017

See all articles by Jaap Nieuwenhuis

Jaap Nieuwenhuis

Zhejiang University

Tiit Tammaru

University of Tartu

Maarten van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies; University of St. Andrews; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Lina Hedman

Uppsala University

David Manley

University of St. Andrews

Abstract

The neighbourhoods in which people live reflects their social class and preferences, so studying socio-spatial mobility between neighbourhoods gives insight in the openness of spatial class structures of societies and in the ability of people to leave disadvantaged neighbourhoods. We study the extent to which people move between different types of neighbourhoods by socio-economic status in different inequality and segregation contexts in four European countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Estonia. The study is based on population registers and census data for the 2001–2011 period. For the UK, which has long had high levels of social inequalities and high levels of socio-economic segregation, we find that levels of mobility between neighbourhood types are low and opportunities to move to more socio-economically advantaged neighbourhoods are modest. In Estonia, which used to be one or the most equal and least segregated countries in Europe and now is one of the most liberal and market oriented countries, we find high levels of mobility, but these reproduce segregation patterns and it is difficult to move to better neighbourhoods for those in the most deprived neighbourhoods. In the Netherlands and Sweden, where social inequalities are the smallest, it is easiest to move from the most deprived to less deprived neighbourhoods. To conclusion, the combination of high levels of social inequalities and high levels of spatial segregation tend to lead to a vicious circle of segregation for low income groups, where it is difficult to undertake both upward social mobility and upward spatial mobility.

Keywords: social mobility, spatial mobility, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, segregation, inequality, international comparison

JEL Classification: I32, J61, J62, R23

Suggested Citation

Nieuwenhuis, Jaap and Tammaru, Tiit and van Ham, Maarten and Hedman, Lina and Manley, David, Does Segregation Reduce Socio-Spatial Mobility? Evidence from Four European Countries with Different Inequality and Segregation Contexts. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11123, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3069466

Jaap Nieuwenhuis (Contact Author)

Zhejiang University ( email )

38 Zheda Road
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

Tiit Tammaru

University of Tartu ( email )

Maarten Van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
Netherlands
+31 15 278 2782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.maartenvanham.nl

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Lina Hedman

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

David Manley

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

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