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Spatial dependence of regional unemployment in the European Union

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  • Niebuhr, Annekatrin

Abstract

The findings of recent studies on adjustment processes suggest that regional labour markets in the EU and the US differ significantly. Low wage flexibility and limited labour mobility in European countries involve persistent unemployment differentials across regions. However, the spatial dimension of regional labour market problems is largely neglected in the corresponding analyses. In contrast, the present paper focuses on the spatial structure of regional unemployment disparities. Regions are tightly linked by migration, commuting and interregional trade. These types of spatial interaction are exposed to frictional effects of distance, possibly causing spatial dependence of regional labour market conditions. Spatial association of regional unemployment is analysed for a sample of European countries between 1986 and 1998 by measures of spatial autocorrelation and spatial econometric methods. The results point to a significant spatial dependence among regional labour markets in Europe. Regions marked by high unemployment as well as areas characterised by low unemployment tend to cluster in space. The findings suggest that different forms of spatial interaction with varying scope affect the evolution of regional unemployment in Europe. -- Die Resultate aktueller Untersuchungen regionaler Anpassungsprozesse deuten darauf hin, dass sich die Funktionsweise regionaler Arbeitsmärkte in der EU und den USA wesentlich voneinander unterscheidet. Geringe Lohnflexibilität und eine begrenzte Mobilität der Arbeitskräfte führen zu anhaltenden Unterschieden zwischen den regionalen Arbeitslosenquoten in Europa. Bisherige Studien vernachlässigen jedoch weitgehend die räumliche Dimension regionaler Arbeitsmarktprobleme. Im Gegensatz dazu konzentriert sich die vorliegende Untersuchung auf die räumliche Struktur entsprechender Disparitäten. Regionen sind eng durch Migration, Pendlerverflechtungen und interregionalen Handel miteinander verbunden. Es ist davon auszugehen, dass regionale Arbeitsmarktbedingungen durch räumliche Abhängigkeiten geprägt sind, weil Interaktionen zwischen regionalen Arbeitsmärkten friktionellen Effekten der geographischen Distanz ausgesetzt sind. Im Rahmen der empirischen Analyse wird die räumliche Abhängigkeit regionaler Arbeitslosigkeit in einigen EU-Staaten zwischen 1986 und 1998 untersucht. Hierzu werden Maße der räumlichen Autokorrelation und Methoden der räumlichen Ökonometrie angewendet. Die Ergebnisse weisen auf erhebliche räumliche Abhängigkeiten zwischen regionalen Arbeitsmärkten in Europa hin. Regionen mit hoher Arbeitslosigkeit bilden ebenso wie Gebiete mit günstigen Arbeitsmarktbedingungen räumliche Cluster. Die empirische Analyse lässt vermuten, dass verschiedene Formen räumlicher Interaktion mit unterschiedlichen Reichweiten die Entwicklung der regionalen Arbeitslosigkeit in Europa beeinflussen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 186.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26147

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Keywords: Regional unemployment; Spatial interaction; Spatial econometrics; Europe;

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References

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  1. Elhorst, J. Paul, 2001. "The mystery of regional unemployment differentials : a survey of theoretical and empirical explanations," Research Report 00C06, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  2. Maurice Obstfeld and Giovanni Peri., 1998. "Regional Nonadjustment and Fiscal Policy: Lessons for EMU," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-096, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Manning, Neil, 1994. "Earnings, Unemployment and Contiguity: Evidence from British Counties 1976-1992," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(1), pages 43-68, February.
  4. Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego, 1999. "Unemployment Clusters Across European Regions and Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2255, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Taylor, Jim & Bradley, Steve, 1997. "Unemployment in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Regional Disparities in Germany, Italy and the UK," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 221-45.
  6. F Stetzer, 1982. "Specifying weights in spatial forecasting models: the results of some experiments," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 14(5), pages 571-584, May.
  7. Burda, Michael C. & Profit, Stefan, 1996. "Matching across space: Evidence on mobility in the Czech Republic," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 255-278, October.
  8. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
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  12. Faini, Riccardo & Galli, Giampaolo & Gennari, Pietro & Rossi, Fulvio, 1997. "An empirical puzzle: Falling migration and growing unemployment differentials among Italian regions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 571-579, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Reinhold Kosfeld & Matthias Türck, 2005. "Intra- und internatonale Spillover-Effekte zwischen den EU-Regionen," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(6), pages 600-621, November.
  2. Roberto Basile & Luca De Benedictis, 2004. "Regional Unemployment and Productivity in Europe and the US," ERSA conference papers ersa04p38, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2006. "Le cause dei divari regionali della disoccupazione in Europa," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2006(1).
  4. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2006. "The Impact of the Institutions on Regional Unemployment Disparities in Europe," Discussion Papers 4_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  5. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2005. "The impact of institutions on Regional unemployment disparities," ERSA conference papers ersa05p758, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Brijesh C. Purohit, 2012. "Health Policy, Inequity and Convergence in India," Working Papers 2012-074, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  7. Floro Ernesto Caroleo – Gianluigi Coppola & Gianluigi Coppola, 2005. "The Impact of the Institutions on Regional Unemployment Disparities," CELPE Discussion Papers 98, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.

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