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Abstract

In this paper we compare periods of low pay employment between rural and urban areas in the UK. Using the British Household Panel Survey, we estimate the probability that a period of low pay employment will end allowing for a number of possible outcomes, namely to a "high pay" job, self-employment, unemployment and out of the labour force. The results show that there are statistically significant differences in the dynamics of low pay across urban and rural labour markets, particularly in terms of exits to high pay and out of the labour force. After controlling for different personal and job characteristics across markets, rural low pay durations are slightly longer on average, with a lower probability that rural workers will move to high pay. However, the results suggest that the most significant urban-rural differences in the typical low pay experience are concentrated among certain types of individuals, e.g. young workers, women without qualifications.

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