The Labour Market Impact of the EU Enlargement
Until recently, regional labour market imbalances were considered transitory phenomena, a consequence of state failure in generating distorted investment incentives in depressed regions as well as of excessive labour market rigidities. Labour mobility and wage flexibility were at the core of the debate over the causes of and cures for regional labour market imbalances. This book bears witness to the changed perspective of research on these issues. In the recent literature, internal labour migration is depicted as a cause of further divergence between advanced and backward regions, as higher returns on human and physical capital are expected to be paid in those regions where these factors are already concentrated.
The book contributes to the debate by presenting important new findings on: a) the reasons why structural change in some sectors causes a slump in some regions, but not in others; b) the extent to which poverty traps explain regional imbalances as compared to such other alternative factors as spatial dependence and nonlinearity in growth behaviour; c) the degree of convergence across EU countries and regions; d) the role of labour mobility in reducing/increasing regional labour market imbalances, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe; e) and the role of an active labour market policy and child care facilities in alleviating the hardship of the weakest segments of the population.