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The resilient regional labour market? The US case


  • Karen Chapple
  • T. William Lester


This article examines the ability of regional labour markets to rebound by growing the middle class or increasing wages. Using data on US metros, we identify regions that are transformative in terms of achieving a new equilibrium or reversing their path dependency. We then use discriminant analysis to identify the factors behind this resiliency. Regional resilience is rare, and changing a region's path is easier than achieving a new equilibrium. Among the most important factors behind regional transformation are the ability to attract immigrants, retain manufacturing, and innovate a high-tech economy. The diversity of outcomes suggests that a simple strong versus weak market dichotomy is insufficient to characterize regional resiliency, and a wide array of policies will be necessary. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Karen Chapple & T. William Lester, 2009. "The resilient regional labour market? The US case," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 3(1), pages 85-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:3:y:2009:i:1:p:85-104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Josh Lerner, 2002. "150 Years of Patent Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 221-225, May.
    2. Henry Overman & Anthony J. Venables, 2005. "Cities in the Developing World," CEP Discussion Papers dp0695, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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