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Regional labour force participation across the European Union: a time–space recursive modelling approach with endogenous regressors

Solmaria Halleck Vega and J.Paul Elhorst

Spatial Economic Analysis, 2017, vol. 12, issue 2-3, 138-160

Abstract: Regional labour force participation across the European Union: a time–space recursive modelling approach with endogenous regressors. Spatial Economic Analysis. Although there is an abundant regional labour market literature taking a spatial perspective, only a few studies have explored extending the analysis of labour force participation with spatial effects. This paper revisits this important issue, proposing a time–space recursive modelling approach that builds on and appraises Fogli and Veldkamp’s methodology from 2011 and finding for the United States that participation rates vary with past values in nearby regions. Major shortcomings in their study are corrected for, including stationarity and the control for endogenous regressors other than the time and space–time-lagged dependent variable using system generalized method of moments (GMM). The paper also highlights interaction effects among explanatory variables for the first time in this context. Using a panel of 108 regions across the European Union over 1986–2010, the results for total, male and female participation rates throw a new light on the socio-economic relevance of different determinants. Importantly, characteristics in neighbouring regions play a significant role, and neglecting endogeneity is found to have serious consequences, underlining increased attention on the specification and estimation of spatial econometric models with endogenous regressors.

Date: 2017
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