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Economic Growth and Regional Labor Market Development in German Regions: Okun’s Law in a Spatial Context

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Author Info

  • Oberst, Christian

    ()
    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Oelgemöller, Jens

    ()
    (Institute for Spatial and Housing Economics)

Abstract

The inverse relationship between economic growth and labor market developments in the form of changes in the unemployment rate is known in economic literature as Okun’s law. The objectives of this paper are to estimate a regionalized Okun coefficient and its associated (regional) unemployment thresholds. The suitability and limitations of Okun’s law as a rule of thumb for regional economic growth and labor market policy are also discussed. Motivated by “Germany’s Jobs Miracle” in face of the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, the existence of an uncoupling effect between economic and unemployment growth is questioned and whether regional economic growth is a driving force for regional labor market development. A regional dataset for the years 2002 to 2009 is employed for this study. The spatial dimension is pursued in two ways: a non-parametric approach using functionally defined labor markets as study areas and the application of spatial econometric panel data models, in particular the Spatial Durbin Error Model. The rationale is that functionally defined regional study areas are the appropriate spatial reference level for the analysis. It is found that, without accounting for spatial dependence, regionalized Okun coefficients are likely to be overestimated. The empirical results confirm a positive impact of economic growth on labor market performance; however, the estimated effect of regional economic growth is far lower than would have been expected. The paper illustrates the limited transferability of Okun’s law as a rule of thumb for growth dynamics on a regional level as well as limitations of regional growth dynamics for regional labor market development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 5/2013.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2013_005

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Keywords: Okun’s Law; Spatial Econometrics; Regional Labor Markets; Regional Growth;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bruns, Stephan B. & Gross, Christian, 2013. "What if energy time series are not independent? Implications for energy-GDP causality analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 753-759.
  2. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado & María Alejandra Hernández Montes & Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron, 2014. "An Exploratory Analysis of Heterogeneity on Regional Labour Markets and Unemployment Rates in Colombia: An MFACT approach," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 011122, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  3. Michelsen , Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Switching from Fossil Fuel to Renewables in Residential Heating Systems: An Empirical Study of Homeowners’ Decisions in Germany," FCN Working Papers 14/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  4. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Challenges in the Evaluation of Ultra-Long-Lived Projects: Risk Premia for Projects with Eternal Returns or Costs," FCN Working Papers 13/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  5. Hackbarth, André & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Willingness-to-Pay for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Characteristics: A Stated Choice Study for Germany," FCN Working Papers 20/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  6. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Optimal Power Generation Investment: Impact of Technology Choices and Existing Portfolios for Deploying Low-Carbon Coal Technologies," FCN Working Papers 12/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  7. KARGI, Bilal, 2013. "Okun’s Law and Long Term Co-Integration Analysis for OECD Countries (1987-2012)," MPRA Paper 55700, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein & Ghosh, Gaurav & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "An Evaluation of Attribute Anchoring Bias in a Choice Experimental Setting," FCN Working Papers 6/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  9. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein & Ghosh, Gaurav & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "The Impact of Green Framing on Consumers’ Valuations of Energy-Saving Measures," FCN Working Papers 7/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  10. Palmer, Johannes & Sorda, Giovanni & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Modeling the Diffusion of Residential Photovoltaic Systems in Italy: An Agent-based Simulation," FCN Working Papers 9/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  11. Rui Pereira, 2014. "Okun’s law, asymmetries and regional spillovers: evidence from Virginia metropolitan statistical areas and the District of Columbia," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 583-595, March.

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