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Spatial dependence of regional unemployment in the European Union


  • Niebuhr, Annekatrin


The findings of recent studies on adjustment processes suggest that regional labour markets in the EU and the US differ significantly. Low wage flexibility and limited labour mobility in European countries involve persistent unemployment differentials across regions. However, the spatial dimension of regional labour market problems is largely neglected in the corresponding analyses. In contrast, the present paper focuses on the spatial structure of regional unemployment disparities. Regions are tightly linked by migration, commuting and interregional trade. These types of spatial interaction are exposed to frictional effects of distance, possibly causing spatial dependence of regional labour market conditions. Spatial association of regional unemployment is analysed for a sample of European countries between 1986 and 1998 by measures of spatial autocorrelation and spatial econometric methods. The results point to a significant spatial dependence among regional labour markets in Europe. Regions marked by high unemployment as well as areas characterised by low unemployment tend to cluster in space. The findings suggest that different forms of spatial interaction with varying scope affect the evolution of regional unemployment in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2002. "Spatial dependence of regional unemployment in the European Union," HWWA Discussion Papers 186, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26147

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2006. "The Impact of the Institutions on Regional Unemployment Disparities in Europe," Discussion Papers 4_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    2. Eckey Hans-Friedrich & Türck Matthias & Kosfeld Reinhold, 2005. "Intra- und internationale Spillover-Effekte zwischen den EU-Regionen / Intra- and International Spillovers Across EU Regions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(6), pages 600-621, December.
    3. Brijesh C. Purohit, 2015. "Health Policy, Inequity and Convergence in India," Working Papers id:7155, eSocialSciences.
    4. Eckey, Hans-Friedrich & Kosfeld, Reinhold & Türck, Matthias, 2005. "Regional convergence in Germany: A geographically weighted regression approach," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 76, University of Kassel, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    5. Roberto Basile & Luca De Benedictis, 2004. "Regional Unemployment and Productivity in Europe and the US," ERSA conference papers ersa04p38, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Floro Ernesto Caroleo – Gianluigi Coppola & Gianluigi Coppola, 2005. "The Impact of the Institutions on Regional Unemployment Disparities," CELPE Discussion Papers 98, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    7. Brijesh C. Purohit, 2012. "Health Policy, Inequity and Convergence in India," Working Papers 2012-074, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    8. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2005. "The impact of institutions on Regional unemployment disparities," ERSA conference papers ersa05p758, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Gianluigi Coppola, 2006. "Le cause dei divari regionali della disoccupazione in Europa," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2006(1).

    More about this item


    Regional unemployment; Spatial interaction; Spatial econometrics; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models


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