Findlay A, Mason C, Harrison R, Houston D, McCollum D. Getting off the escalator? A study of Scots out-migration from a global city region. Environment and Planning A 2008; 40 (9): 2169-2185
Something new is happening to reverse the historical trend of skilled Scots moving to London for career progression. The Scottish population of London and the South East is falling and this despite Scots enjoying continued occupational success within the South East labour market. The authors ask why Scots are leaving the UK’s main escalator region and then investigate how these migration changes can best be theorised relative to literature on the mobility of the ‘new service class’. Building on Fielding’s escalator region hypothesis, the authors report on recent research on longer distance flows out of the UK’s main escalator region. They advance the critique of the escalator region hypothesis set out by Findlay et al and ask why people would leave a global city offering good opportunities for occupational mobility. Demographic regime change provides only a partial answer. Other explanations can be found in the changing mobilities of the new service class as they engage in what Smith has defined as ‘translocal’ and ‘transnational’ urbanism. The authors argue that Scotland’s changing relationship with London and the South East may be representative of a wider set of changes in migration linkages between regional economies and global cities.