Las tasas de paro regionales españolas: convergencia o polarización
The aim of this paper is to present a systematic and detailed account regarding the behavior of Spanish regional unemployment rates throughout the last two decades of the 20th century. In a first approach we use descriptive techniques that allow to confirm the existence, and especially the persistence, of regional differences through time. Next, we use statistical techniques to asses if a convergence process has taken place, or alternatively, a polarization tendency is observed in the Spanish case. The main conclusion of the paper is that a weak convergence processes in the regional unemployment rate is consistent with a stronger polarization effect, that does not affect the whole set of Spanish regions. In Spain two clusters of regions are identified, whith opposite unemployment behaviors: those regions in the Ebro axis and Balearic Islands show unemployment rates below the national average, while the other cluster shows values 1,5 times greater than this average. Furthermore, a third group is converging towards the national average. These differences imply that the conclusions regarding a convergence or divergence process in Spain may be taken with caution.
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