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The Delimitation and Coherence of Functional and Administrative Regions


  • Cörvers Frank
  • Hensen M.
  • Bongaerts D.

    (ROA rm)


The aim of this paper is to examine the coherence between and within functional as well as administrative regions in a labour market context. The larger the coherence of the local labour markets within the delimited regions, the larger the heterogeneity between the delimited regions is expected to be for particular measures related to the economy and the labour market. Contrary to previous delimitation studies we test for labour market coherence. The functionally defined regions are compared with the administratively defined regions with respect to four economic indicators: (i) income level; (ii) housing prices; (iii) employment rate, and (iv) unemployment rate. It turns out that the administrative delimitation of the Netherlands performs, on average, equally well as the functional delimitation. The hypothesis that the municipalities within the administratively defined regions show less coherence than the municipalities within the functionally delimited regions, cannot be rejected. We find some minor evidence that the coherence is greater for the average income level of municipalities within functional regions than within administrative regions. It can be concluded that there is not much to be gained in labour market policies by using functional instead of administrative divisions of regional labour markets. Therefore we doubt the usefulness of other studies on functional delimitations of labour market regions. Finally, our results imply that it may be better for regional labour market policies not to use a highly differentiated division of regions for such a small country as the Netherlands.

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  • Cörvers Frank & Hensen M. & Bongaerts D., 2006. "The Delimitation and Coherence of Functional and Administrative Regions," ROA Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2006002

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    Cited by:

    1. Viktor Venhorst & Jouke Van Dijk & Leo Van Wissen, 2011. "An Analysis of Trends in Spatial Mobility of Dutch Graduates," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 57-82.
    2. Marie-Pierre de Bellefon & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Clément Gorin, 2019. "Delineating urban areas using building density," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-02492519, HAL.
    3. Maza, Adolfo & Villaverde, José, 2011. "EU regional convergence and policy: Does the concept of region matter?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 889-900.
    4. Rodríguez Rodríguez, Yurena & Hernández Martín, Raúl, 2018. "Foundations and relevance of delimiting local tourism destinations," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 42, pages 185-206.
    5. Willemijn Van Der Straaten & Jan Rouwendal, 2011. "Why are the commuting distances of power couples so short? An analysis of the location preferences of households," ERSA conference papers ersa10p816, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Pénzes, János & Molnár, Ernő & Pálóczi, Gábor, 2016. "Local Labour System After the Turn of the Millennium in Hungary," MPRA Paper 73938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Moises Lenyn Obaco Alvarez & Vicente Royuela & Xavier Vítores, 2016. "Computing functional urban areas using a hierarchical travel time approach," ERSA conference papers ersa16p238, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Kropp, Per & Schwengler, Barbara, 2017. "Stability of functional labour market regions," IAB Discussion Paper 201721, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Dijk, J. van & Broersma, L. & Edzes, A.J.E. & Venhorst, V.A, 2011. "Brain drain of brain gain? Hoger opgeleiden in grote steden in Nederland," Research Reports vavenhorst, University of Groningen, Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI).
    10. 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.
    11. Tobias Ebert & Jochen E. Gebauer & Thomas Brenner & Wiebke Bleidorn & Samuel D. Gosling & Jeff Potter & P. Jason Rentfrow, 2019. "Are Regional Differences in Personality and their Correlates robust? Applying Spatial Analysis Techniques to Examine Regional Variation in Personality across the U.S. and Germany," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2019-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    12. Elvio Mattioli & Giuseppe Ricciardo Lamonica, 2016. "The world’s economic geography: evidence from the world input–output table," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 697-728, May.
    13. Venhorst, V. & Cörvers, F., 2015. "Entry into working life: Spatial mobility and the job match quality of higher-educated graduates," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    14. Bogataj, David & Bogataj, Marija & Drobne, Samo, 2019. "Interactions between flows of human resources in functional regions and flows of inventories in dynamic processes of global supply chains," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 209(C), pages 215-225.
    15. ADACHI Daisuke & FUKAI Taiyo & KAWAGUCHI Daiji & SAITO Yukiko, 2020. "Commuting Zones in Japan," Discussion papers 20021, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. Up Lim & Donghyun Kim, 2015. "Toward Sustainable Economic Growth: A Spatial Panel Data Analysis of Regional Income Convergence in US BEA Economic Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-17, July.
    17. Berdegué, J. & Jara, B. & Fuentealba, R. & Tohá, J. & Modrego, F. & Schejtman, A. & Bro, N., 2011. "Territorios Funcionales en Chile," Working papers 102, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
    18. Per Kropp & Barbara Schwengler, 2016. "Three-Step Method for Delineating Functional Labour Market Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 429-445, March.

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