Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales)
This paper studies the geographic distribution of unemployment rates in Colombian urban areas. It introduces measures of spatial correlation and spatial econometric techniques to analyze the dependence in local unemployment rates across municipalities. Results suggest that Colombian municipalities have experienced a polarization process between 1993 and 2005, as municipalities' unemployment rates have followed different evolutions relative to the National average. This process has been accompanied by the creation of unemployment clusters, that is to say, municipalities had very similar unemployment outcomes to those of their neighbors. This analysis uses a spatial Durbin model to explore the influence of various factors in determining differences in regional unemployment rates. According to our findings differences in labor demand, immigration rates, and urbanization are factors behind observed municipal unemployment disparities.