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Regional Differences in the Severity of Recessions in the UK

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  • Robert Dixon

Abstract

This paper aims to provide a fresh approach to understanding regional unemployment dynamics and differences. Specifically, we develop a framework to explain differences between regions in the severity (measured in terms of how far unemployment rises) of recessions. The main contribution of this paper is draw attention to the role of the elasticity of the outflow rate with respect to unemployment in determining the severity of recessions. The key parameter of the model - the elasticity of the outflow rate with respect to unemployment - is estimated using regional data for the United Kingdom over the period 1989:1 - 2003:4. This elasticity appears to be higher in the north than the south implying that, for the same percentage increase in inflow, the level (and rate) of unemployment will rise further in northern regions than in southern regions. It follows that, if there has indeed been any reversal of the north-south divide in the United Kingdom as some have claimed, it must have its origins on the inflow, not the outflow, side of the labour market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1009.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1009

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  1. Robert Dixon & Muhammad Mahmood, 2006. "Hans Singer's model of the severity of recessions," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 835-846, November.
  2. Balakrishnan, Ravi & Michelacci, Claudio, 2001. "Unemployment dynamics across OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 135-165, January.
  3. Robert Dixon & John Freebairn & Guay Lim, 2003. "Why are recessions as deep as they are? The behaviour over time of the outflow from unemployment: a new perspective," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(1), pages 37-64, March.
  4. Fred Lazar, 1977. "Regional Unemployment Rate Disparities in Canada: Some Possible Explanations," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(1), pages 112-29, February.
  5. Stephen Fothergill, 2001. "The True Scale of the Regional Problem in the UK," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 241-246.
  6. Ron Martin, 1997. "Regional Unemployment Disparities and their Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 237-252.
  7. Brian Bell & James Smith, 2002. "On gross worker flows in the United Kingdom: evidence from the Labour Force Survey," Bank of England working papers 160, Bank of England.
  8. Burda, Michael C & Wyplosz, Charles, 1993. "Gross Worker and Job Flows in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Burgess, Simon M., 1994. "Matching models and labour market flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 809-816, April.
  10. R Martin & P Sunley, 1999. "Unemployment flow regimes and regional unemployment disparities," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(3), pages 523-550, March.
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