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Regional Mismatch and Unemployment: Theory and Evidence from Italy, 1977-1998

Author

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  • Marco Manacorda

    () (CELPE University of Salerno, Queen Mary university of London)

  • Barbara Petrongolo

    () (CELPE University of Salerno, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

This paper describes the functioning of a two-region economy characterized by asymmetric wage-setting. Labor market tightness in one region (the leading-region) affects wages in the whole economy. IN equilibrium, net labor demand shifts towards the leading region raise unemployment in the rest of the economy and leave regional wages unchanged, causing an increase in aggregate unemployment. This model has some success in explaining the evolution of regional unemployment rates in Italy during the period 1977-1998. Based on SHIW micro data on earnings and ISTAT data on unemployment rates we find strong evidence that wages in Italy only respond to labor market tightness in the North. We estimate that around one third of the increase in aggregate unemployment in Italy can be explained by regional mismatch, mainly due to an excess labor supply growth in the South.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Manacorda & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "Regional Mismatch and Unemployment: Theory and Evidence from Italy, 1977-1998," CELPE Discussion Papers 90, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sal:celpdp:90
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
    2. Manacorda, Marco & Petrongolo, Barbara, 1999. "Skill Mismatch and Unemployment in OECD Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 181-207, May.
    3. Becker, Sascha O. & Bentolila, Samuel & Fernandes, Ana & Ichino, Andrea, 2004. "Job Insecurity and Children’s Emancipation," IZA Discussion Papers 1046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Pissarides, Christopher A & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1989. "Unemployment and the Inter-regional Mobility of Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 739-755, September.
    5. Brunello, Giorgio & Lupi, Claudio & Ordine, Patrizia, 2000. "Regional Disparities and the Italian NAIRU," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 146-177, January.
    6. Faini, Riccardo, 1999. "Trade unions and regional development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 457-474, February.
    7. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
    8. Faini, Riccardo & Galli, Giampaolo & Gennari, Pietro & Rossi, Fulvio, 1997. "An empirical puzzle: Falling migration and growing unemployment differentials among Italian regions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 571-579, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio Destefanis & Giovanni Pica, 2010. "It’s wages, it’s hours, it’s the Italian wage curve," CSEF Working Papers 247, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Caponi, Vincenzo, 2008. "Centralized Wage Determination and Regional Unemployment Differences: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regional imbalances; Wage curve; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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