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ResearchUrban and Regional Studies InstituteResearch projects

Dynamics on the Regional Labor Market and Urban Economic Development

Principal researchers

Dr. Arjen Edzes

Dr. Inge Noback

M. Middeldorp MSc.

Dr. L. Broersma

Dr. V.A. Venhorst

Type of research



Prof.dr. Jouke van Dijk


The research is a collaboration between the department of Economic Geography of the University of Groningen and

  • Platform31 (former: Netherlands Institute of City Innovation Studies/NICIS)
  • Cities of Amsterdam, The Haque, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Emmen, Almelo
  • Provence of Groningen
  • Employee Insurance Agency (UWV)

The aim of the research is to investigate the dynamics of the urban labour market in relation to individual career paths on the one hand and economic growth potential of the region on the other hand. The novelty of this research is that it fills the gap in knowledge of the links between dynamics on the labour market and regional and urban localities in the search of effective place based policies. We distinguish between two interrelated objects of study. The first one is the study of individual career paths at a micro level by means of micro-level data. The central question is whether we can define determinants of success of individual career patterns. By determinants we look at personal characteristics (age, gender etc.), educational level and direction, the starting position on the labour market, transition patterns and firm level, industrial and regional characteristics. We also focus on interaction effects between high, medium and low educated individuals. The second one is the study of in-, through and outflows at firm level, intra- en inter industrial mobility at an aggregated level and the relation between job opportunities, (un)employment and regional economic growth and in the end also how mobility at the aggregate levels effects individual career patterns. Both research lines deliver input for a place based labour market policy.

For the (statistical and econometric) analysis we use information at a micro level. The main source is the Social Statistical Database (SSB) of Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The SSB consist of several sub files (like information on Persons, Jobs, Companies, Social-Economic Categories, Education) which can all be linked at a micro level. Over the period of 1999-2008 individual career paths can be followed. The SSB data is partly filled by the data of the social security and tax administration of the Administration Office Employment Insurances (UWV) which is the second source of information. We enrich the micro level data with information on a more aggregated level coming from Statistics Netherlands such as employment data, socio-economic indicators of regions, cities and so on.

Last modified:10 July 2014 10.43 a.m.