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The evolution of regional unemployment in the EU. An analysis via the Gompertz diffusion process


  • Stefano Maria IACUS


  • Giuseppe PORRO



At the end of Nineties, Danny Quah devoted several papers to the analysis of polarization and stratification in the convergence processes of economies, creating the image of the ``convergence clubs'' and suggesting the importance of studying the distribution dynamics of the macroeconomic variables. As for the labor markets, Overman and Puga (2002) showed that a progressive polarization of unemployment was in fact occurring among the European regions in 1986-1996, causing a phenomenon of cross-border clusterization of the European regions. Here we propose to analyze the evolution of the unemployment rates of the EU27 regions in the last two decades assuming that the unemployment rates evolve according to a Gompertz stochastic process. The estimated parameters of the process - intrinsic growth rate, deceleration factor, volatility - represent the evolutionary path of the unemployment rate and allow for estimating the steady state of the process. A cluster analysis is performed on the steady state values of the unemployment rates. The analysis confirms the emergence of several ``convergence clubs'' among the European regional labor markets, which are compared to the cluster resulting from the more traditional clusterization on the current unemployment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Maria IACUS & Giuseppe PORRO, 2012. "The evolution of regional unemployment in the EU. An analysis via the Gompertz diffusion process," Departmental Working Papers 2012-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Universit√† degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2012-17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. anonymous, 1995. "Does the bouncing ball lead to economic growth?," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-2,4-6.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    3. Durlauf, Steven N & Johnson, Paul A, 1995. "Multiple Regimes and Cross-Country Growth Behaviour," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 365-384, Oct.-Dec..
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    5. Johnson, Paul A., 2000. "A nonparametric analysis of income convergence across the US states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 219-223, November.
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    More about this item


    European regions; regional labor markets; convergence; Gompertz process;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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