Ooh I just found information on a project running at the Centre for Longitudinal Study, Information and User Support looking at the ‘Escalator Effect’ in urban labour markets…. How exciting!
I first came across the ‘escalator effect’ when reading Bond, Charsley and Grundy’s paper: ‘Scottish Graduate Migration and Retention‘. Here they talked about how some Scottish graduates move south in the expectation that they will return one day, and that working in the ‘core’ economic region of London is actually seen as a way of ‘facililtating this return’, because they can build up skills and experience that allow them to move on to senior roles in more peripheral regions (2008: 51-52). In this way working in the South East (and London in particular) can be viewed as having an ‘escalator effect’ on the career trajectories of individuals, who may otherwise not be able to progress so quickly.
The idea of a project researching specifically the escalator effect is exciting to me, because I suspect that for rural and remote students the appeal of an urban area (and the escalator it offers) may be more marked – because the disparity between the jobs they could get ‘at home’ and those they could get ‘away’ may be greater than for students in less remote small and medium towns with larger labour markets and better transport links.