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Sectoral shifts, diversification and regional unemployment: evidence from local labour systems in Italy


  • Roberto Basile


  • Alessandro Girardi


  • Marianna Mantuano


  • Francesco Pastore



Using Local Labour Systems (LLSs) data, this work aims at assessing the effects of sectoral shifts and industry specialization patterns on regional unemployment in Italy over the years 2004–2008. Italy represents an interesting case study because of the high degree of spatial heterogeneity in local labour market performance and the well-known North–South divide. Furthermore, the presence of strongly specialized LLSs (Industrial Districts, IDs) allows us to test whether IDs perform better than highly diversified urban areas thanks to the effect of agglomeration economies, or viceversa. Building on a semiparametric spatial auto-regressive framework, our empirical investigation documents that sectoral shifts and the degree of specialization exert a negative role on unemployment dynamics. By contrast, highly diversified areas turn out to be characterized by better labour market performances. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Basile & Alessandro Girardi & Marianna Mantuano & Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Sectoral shifts, diversification and regional unemployment: evidence from local labour systems in Italy," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 525-544, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:525-544 DOI: 10.1007/s10663-012-9198-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Primum vivere . . . industrial change, job destruction and the geographical distribution of unemployment," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. repec:eee:quaeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Muhammad Rashid Ansari & Chiara Mussida & Francesco Pastore, 2014. "Note on Lilien and modified Lilien index," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(2), pages 398-406, June.
    4. Pastore F., 2015. "The Mezzogiorno and Crisis after Market and State Failures. A Review of Economic Literature," Rivista economica del Mezzogiorno, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3-4, pages 525-582.
    5. Walid Jebili & Lotfi Belkacem, 2015. "Sectoral Shifts, Diversification, Regional Unemployment on the Eve of Revolution in Tunisia: a Sequential Spatial Panel Approach," Working Papers 952, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    6. Pastore, Francesco, 2013. "Primum vivere… Industrial Change, Job Destruction and the Geographical Distribution of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7126, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Mussida, Chiara & Pastore, Francesco, 2012. "Is There a Southern-Sclerosis? Worker Reallocation and Regional Unemployment in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 6954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Unemployment; Sectoral shift; Diversification; Spatial dependence; Nonparametrics; C14; C21; L16; R23;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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