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Regional Disparities in Europe

Adalgiso Amendola, Floro Caroleo () and Gianluigi Coppola ()
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Adalgiso Amendola: University of Salerno

Chapter 1 in The European Labour Market, 2006, pp 9-31 from Springer

Abstract: 1.5 Summary and conclusions The results of the analysis confirm the thesis of those who contend that the European economy is a diversified reality influenced by structural phenomena concerning labour market characteristics, sectoral composition, and localization factors which make it unlikely that integration processes — although accelerated by the enlargement of markets and their greater efficiency — will give rise to the hopedfor levelling of economic development in the near future. The main reason for regional differences still seems to be the composition and structure of labour markets. To be noted in particular is the marked contrast between the Mediterranean regions, most of which belong to the Objective 1 regions, and their high rates of structural unemployment, and the regions of central-northern Europe and central-southern England characterized by more flexible labour markets and high employment rates. However, there are other phenomena responsible for regional disparities in Europe: localization factors (large conurbations, transport hubs, and tourism) which foster the development of connected service activities, and the presence of a solid industrial base accompanied by high levels of income and employment. These factors are associated with regions which are more territorially dispersed and therefore unlikely to form regional clusters, whilst, by contrast, industrialization phenomena are distributed across a transnational area formed by contiguous regions. This area stretches eastwards from the north-eastern regions of Spain along the Adriatic and through north-eastern Italy, and then northwards to the central regions of Europe, Austria and Germany. The dynamic analysis has shown not so much convergence as slow change in the structural characteristics that differentiate the regions of Europe, where localization factors and sectoral composition will probably be more influential in the future. Moreover, the peripheral regions seem to be more markedly characterized by structural differences than are the core regions.

Keywords: Labour Market; Regional Disparity; Regional Unemployment; Flexible Labour Market; Positive Quadrant (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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DOI: 10.1007/3-7908-1680-9_2

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