Professor, Department of Economics, Meikai University, 1 Akemi, Urayasu, Chiba 279-8550, Japan
The paper analyzes the peculiar phenomenon of regional disparities brought by the changes in the geographical distribution of US unemployment rates. Specifically, we investigate the characteristics concerning the gap of that regional distribution especially focusing upon the statistical analysis by mainly an exploratory way. Reduction in disparities or Expansion in disparities usually involves reducing or increasing the overall level of distribution, and the so-called relative disparity between all states of the U.S. shows an extremely stable transition of distribution within a certain range. This is a mysterious phenomenon that is also shown in any other country in the world. One of the reasons that the regional distribution of unemployment rates becomes stable is derived from the robustness of that geographical distribution; this is one of the reasons that the unemployment rate does not fluctuate significantly. Even if that robustness deteriorates for some reason, then the unemployment rate updates the values of minimum and maximum, or only just the range of variation expands; the relative disparities between regions tend to be offset by increases or decreases in the same direction as a result. Since that range is usually very limited, the gap frequently fluctuates up and down within a confined extent and it does not necessarily converge or diverge to a specific point; it would constantly change within the allowable fluctuation range depending on the socio-economic situation.
Keywords: unemployment rate, regional disparity, convergence, equilibrium, stability
JEL classification: C13, C15, J69, R12, R19