Structural Change and Labour Reallocation Across Regions: A Review of the Literature
In: The Labour Market Impact of the EU Enlargement. A New Regional Geography of Europe?
The focus of this chapter is on the microeconomic foundations of structural change and its spatially asymmetric impact on labour markets. EU economies are undergoing dramatic industrial restructuring due to a number of causes, such as the Eastward enlargement and economic integration of Central and Eastern European countries, as well as a more general process of integration of emerging economies into world trade. In turn this is causing technical change, relocation of economic activities and reallocation of capital and labour resources. An overly optimistic view of the ability of the market economy to sustain economic development has long neglected the labour market consequences of structural change, but the availability of new data sets and the specific nature of economic transition in new member states has once again brought this issue to the fore, suggesting that it might also provide an explanation of several typical features of regional imbalances in old member states. The old and new literature suggests theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence to confirm this.
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