Title

Mind The Gap: Financial London And The Regional Class Pay Gap

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-29-2017

Published In

British Journal Of Sociology

Abstract

The hidden barriers, or ‘gender pay gap’, preventing women from earning equivalent incomes to men is well documented. Yet recent research has uncovered that, in Britain, there is also a comparable class-origin pay gap in higher professional and managerial occupations. So far this analysis has only been conducted at the national level and it is not known whether there are regional differences within the UK. This paper uses pooled data from the 2014 and 2015 Labour Force Survey (N = 7,534) to stage a more spatially sensitive analysis that examines regional variation in the class pay gap. We find that this ‘class ceiling’ is not evenly spatially distributed. Instead it is particularly marked in Central London, where those in high-status occupations who are from working-class backgrounds earn, on average, £10,660 less per year than those whose parents were in higher professional and managerial employment. Finally, we inspect the Capital further to reveal that the class pay gap is largest within Central London's banking and finance sector. Challenging policy conceptions of London as the ‘engine room’ of social mobility, these findings suggest that class disadvantage within high-status occupations is particularly acute in the Capital. The findings also underline the value of investigating regional differences in social mobility, and demonstrate how such analysis can unravel important and previously unrecognized spatial dimensions of class inequality.

Keywords

Class, region, class origin, class pay gap, class ceiling, social mobility