IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The regional distribution of unemployment: What do micro-data tell us?

  • Enrique López-Bazo
  • Elisabet Motellón

Regional disparities in unemployment rates are large and persistent. The literature provides evidence of their magnitude and evolution, as well as evidence of the role of certain economic, demographic and environmental factors in explaining the gap between regions of low and high unemployment. Most of these studies, however, adopt an aggregate approach and so do not account for the individual characteristics of the unemployed and employed in each region. This paper, by drawing on micro-data from the Spanish wave of the Labour Force Survey, seeks to remedy this shortcoming by analysing regional differentials in unemployment rates. An appropriate decomposition of the regional gap in the average probability of being unemployed enables us to distinguish between the contribution of differences in the regional distribution of individual characteristics from that attributable to a different impact of these characteristics on the probability of unemployment. Our results suggest that the well-documented disparities in regional unemployment are not just the result of regional heterogeneity in the distribution of individual characteristics. Non-negligible differences in the probability of unemployment remain after controlling for this type of heterogeneity, as a result of differences across regions in the impact of the observed characteristics. Among the factors considered in our analysis, regional differences in the endowment and impact of an individual’s education are shown to play a major role.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Papers in Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 92 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 383-405

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:presci:v:92:y:2013:i:2:p:383-405
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ugidos Olazabal, Arantza & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2002. "More on Identification on Detailed Wage Decompositions," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-17, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  2. 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.
  3. Joao Pereira & Aurora Galego, 2007. "Regional Wage Differentials: Static And Dynamic Approaches," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2007_07, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  4. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "Decomposing Differences in the First Moment," IZA Discussion Papers 877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Roberto Bande & Marika Karanassou, 2006. "Labour Market Flexibility and Regional Unemployment Rate Dynamics: Spain (1980-1995)," ERSA conference papers ersa06p53, European Regional Science Association.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:100:y:1985:i:1:p:57-79 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Evans, Philip & McCormick, Barry, 1994. "The New Pattern of Regional Unemployment: Causes and Policy Significance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 633-47, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  11. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Spatial dependence in local unemployment rates," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 169-191, March.
  12. J. Paul Elhorst & Annette S. Zeilstra, 2007. "Labour force participation rates at the regional and national levels of the European Union: An integrated analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(4), pages 525-549, November.
  13. Cracolici, M. Francesca & Cuffaro, Miranda & Nijkamp, Peter, 2007. "Geographical distribution of unemployment: an analysis of provincial differences in Italy," Serie Research Memoranda 0001, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  14. Alpay FILIZTEKIN, . "Regional Unemployment in Turkey," Regional and Urban Modeling 284100014, EcoMod.
  15. Roberto Bande & Melchor Fernandez & Víctor Manuel Montuenga, 2005. "Regional Unemployment in Spain - Disparities, Business Cycle and Wage Setting," ERSA conference papers ersa05p489, European Regional Science Association.
  16. Lopez-Bazo, Enrique & Del Barrio, Tomas & Artis, Manuel, 2002. "The regional distribution of spanish unemployment. A spatial analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa02p020, European Regional Science Association.
  17. R Martin & P Sunley, 1999. "Unemployment Flow Regimes and Regional Unemployment Disparities," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 31(3), pages 523-550, March.
  18. Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga, 2002. "Unemployment clusters across Europe's regions and countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(34), pages 115-148, 04.
  19. Mark Partridge & Dan Rickman, 1997. "The Dispersion of US State Unemployment Rates: The Role of Market and Non-market Equilibrium Factors," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 593-606.
  20. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  21. J. Paul Elhorst, 2003. "The Mystery of Regional Unemployment Differentials: Theoretical and Empirical Explanations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(5), pages 709-748, December.
  22. Robert E. Hall, 1972. "Turnover in the Labor Force," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(3), pages 709-764.
  23. Ron Martin, 1997. "Regional Unemployment Disparities and their Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 237-252.
  24. Mark D. Partridge, 2001. "Exploring the Canadian-U.S. Unemployment and Nonemployment Rate Gaps: Are There Lessons for Both Countries?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 701-734.
  25. Enrique Lopez-Bazo & Tomas Del Barrio & Manuel Artis, 2005. "Geographical distribution of unemployment in Spain," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 305-318.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:presci:v:92:y:2013:i:2:p:383-405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.