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Spatial flexibility in job mobility: macrolevel opportunities and microlevel restrictions


  • Maarten van Ham
  • Clara H Mulder
  • Pieter Hooimeijer


Disequilibria among regional labour markets persist through spatial inflexibility in job mobility resulting from restrict ions in migration and long-distance commuting. This contribution analyses workplace mobility -- the acceptance of a job at a great distance from the place of residence -- using a direct measure which includes both migration and long commutes as means for covering this distance. Two sources of spatial inflexibility are identified. The first is a low overall chance of general job mobility; the second is a limited search area leading to low workplace mobility. In a two-step analysis we show that workers who find another job are a highly selective group. Within this group the variation in accepting a job at a great distance is wide, because of the individual restrictions that are often gendered. We also show that ample availability of job opportunities stimulates general job mobility and reduces workplace mobility, but only after controlling for individual restrictions. These findings are in line with the spatial mismatch hypothesis.

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  • Maarten van Ham & Clara H Mulder & Pieter Hooimeijer, 2001. "Spatial flexibility in job mobility: macrolevel opportunities and microlevel restrictions," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(5), pages 921-940, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:33:y:2001:i:5:p:921-940

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David B. Audretsch & Oliver Falck & Maryann P. Feldman & Stephan Heblich, 2012. "Local Entrepreneurship in Context," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 379-389, April.
    2. Werner Bönte & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2009. "The Impact of Regional Age Structure on Entrepreneurship," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 269-287, July.
    3. Martin Andersson & Sierdjan Koster, 2011. "Sources of persistence in regional start-up rates--evidence from Sweden," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 179-201, January.
    4. Paul Boyle & Thomas J. Cooke & Keith Halfacree & Darren Smith, 2002. "A cross-national study of the effects of family migration on women's labour market status: some difficulties with integrating microdata from two censuses," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(3), pages 465-480.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2012. "The Labor Market Consequences of Gender Differences in Job Search," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 303-327, September.
    2. Christoph Kern, 2014. "Regional Structures and Mobility Dispositions: A Multilevel Proportional- & Partial-Proportional Odds Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 681, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Sergii TROSHCHENKOV, 2016. "Return to Commuting Distance in Sweden," Departmental Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Angela Parenti & Cristina Tealdi, 2017. "Does the abolition of border controls boost cross-border commuting? Evidence from Switzerland," Discussion Papers 2017/213, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Sumberg, James & Anyidoho, Nana Akua & Chasukwa, Michael & Chinsinga, Blessings & Leavy, Jennifer, 2014. "Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 080, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Sidonia von Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "The Dynamics of Inter-Regional Collaboration – An Analysis of Co-Patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2011-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Inge Noback & Lourens Broersma & Jouke van Dijk, 2011. "Gender-specific dynamics in working hours," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1308, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Buchel, Felix & van Ham, Maarten, 2003. "Overeducation, regional labor markets, and spatial flexibility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 482-493, May.
    9. Hazans, Mihails, 2002. "Social returns to commuting in the Baltic states," ERSA conference papers ersa02p232, European Regional Science Association.
    10. repec:elg:eechap:14395_28 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sidonia Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2014. "The dynamics of inter-regional collaboration: an analysis of co-patenting," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(1), pages 41-64, January.
    12. Chakraborty, A. & Beamonte, M.A. & Gelfand, A.E. & Alonso, M.P. & Gargallo, P. & Salvador, M., 2013. "Spatial interaction models with individual-level data for explaining labor flows and developing local labor markets," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 292-307.

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