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The Mystery Of Regional Unemployment Differentialsa Survey Of Theoretical And Empirical Explanations

  • Elhorst, J. Paul

This paper attempts to provide an integrated overview of theoretical and empirical explanations used in the applied literature on regional unemployment differentials. On the basis of 41 empirical studies, four different model types covering nine theoretical constructs of regional unemployment determination and 13 sets of explanatory variables are identified. The overall conclusion is that theoretical and empirical explanations help to reduce the weaknesses in each other. While theory is found to predict that the regional unemployment rate depends on labour supply factors (a collection of factors which affect natural changes in the labour force, labour force participation, migration and commuting), labour demand factors and wage-setting factors, it is the empirical studies that gain a more profound understanding of the explanatory variables involved. Conversely, whereas most empirical studies provide clear-cut explanations for the signs of the explanatory variables, it is theory that shows that some of these explanations might be out of proportion. By grouping many studies together, this paper shows that there are indeed clear-cut trends.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa00p60.

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Date of creation: Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa00p60
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