2001 volume 33(5) pages 921 – 940

Cite as:
van Ham M, Mulder C H, Hooimeijer P, 2001, "Spatial flexibility in job mobility: macrolevel opportunities and microlevel restrictions" Environment and Planning A 33(5) 921 – 940

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Spatial flexibility in job mobility: macrolevel opportunities and microlevel restrictions

Maarten van Ham, Clara H Mulder, Pieter Hooimeijer

Received 25 September 2000; in revised form 3 February 2001

Abstract. Disequilibria among regional labour markets persist through spatial inflexibility in job mobility resulting from restrict ions in migration and long-distance commuting. This contribution analyses workplace mobility -- the acceptance of a job at a great distance from the place of residence -- using a direct measure which includes both migration and long commutes as means for covering this distance. Two sources of spatial inflexibility are identified. The first is a low overall chance of general job mobility; the second is a limited search area leading to low workplace mobility. In a two-step analysis we show that workers who find another job are a highly selective group. Within this group the variation in accepting a job at a great distance is wide, because of the individual restrictions that are often gendered. We also show that ample availability of job opportunities stimulates general job mobility and reduces workplace mobility, but only after controlling for individual restrictions. These findings are in line with the spatial mismatch hypothesis.

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