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Delineating Functional Labour Market Areas With Estimable Classification Stabilities

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This paper describes a method for delineating functional labour market areas (LMAs) in national commuting networks.

Identifying functional, rather than administrative, LMAs is important for analysing spatial patterns of economic activity. Functional boundaries capture the geography of interactions among employers and employees, whereas administrative boundaries typically ignore such interactions. By construction, functionally-defined LMAs are largely self-contained, and thus represent an obvious unit of analysis for studies of local labour markets. The self-containment also reduces the impact of the modifiable areal unit problem. The researchers demonstrate the method using historical Census commuting data from New Zealand.

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