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CEP discussion paper
Commuting, migration and local joblessness
Michael Amior and Alan Manning
June 2019
Paper No' CEPDP1623:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J21; J61; J64; R23

Tags: spatial inequality; commuting; migration

Britain suffers from persistent spatial disparities in employment rates. This paper develops an integrated framework for analyzing two forces expected to equalize economic opportunity across areas: commuting and migration. Our framework is applicable to any level of spatial aggregation, and we use it to assess their contribution to labor market adjustment across British wards (or neighborhoods). Commuting offers only limited insurance against local shocks, because commutes are typically short and shocks are heavily correlated spatially. Analogously, migration fails to fully equalize opportunity because of strong temporal correlation in local demand shocks.