The processes of poverty decentralisation: evidence from the Scottish Longitudinal Study 1991-2011

Livingston, M., Bailey, N. & van Gent, W. (2018) CALLS Hub conference, University of St Andrews, UK, 23 March 2018 [SLS]

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There is growing evidence of a process of decentralisation of poverty across cities in many developed countries (Kavanagh et al 2016; Hunter 2014; Kneebone and Berube (2013); Cooke and Denton (2015); Randolph and Tice (2016); Hochstenbach and Musterd (2017)). The drivers for these changes lie in a combination of factors including economic and labour market restructuring, as well as consumption and demographic shifts. In the UK at least, housing policies and reductions in welfare expenditures related to housing also play a role (Lupton 2011).

Previous studies have quantified the extent of decentralisation and shown how the pace varies between cities. In addition, Minton and Bailey (2016) showed that, in the Scottish cities at least, the decentralisation of poverty occurs through a combination of reductions in the number of poorer households close to the city centres and simultaneous increases in the numbers not poor. This suggests not merely a dilution of inner city poverty but a process of displacement as typically accompanies gentrification. Being based on repeated cross-sectional data, however, that study cannot trace changes for individual households over time.

In this research we extend the analysis of the processes driving poverty decentralisation in Glasgow and Edinburgh from 1991 to 2011. Using linked census data from the Scottish Longitudinal Survey (5% population sample), we apply the methodology developed by Bailey (2012) and extended by Bailey et al (2016). This decomposes the changes in relative centralisation of poverty between the effects of a range of processes: population exchanges between each city and other areas through external migration; demographic processes of ageing and dying; processes internal to each city of social and residential mobility.

Output from project: 2016_006


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