Économie et Statistique n° 415-416 - 2008Geographic disparities
Geographic inequality of access to employment in France: an investigation based on comprehensive administrative sources
We analyze geographic inequality of access to employment at a highly detailed geographic level—the municipality—across all of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica), for two population groups: unemployed persons registered at the National Employment Agency (ANPE) and recipients of the guaranteed minimum income (RMI). We have used data from two comprehensive administrative sources for both groups. Overall, we find highly pronounced inequality of employment access by municipality of residence. However, across large sections of metropolitan France, groups of contiguous municipalities offer uniformly low or high prospects of employment access. Divergences between localities remain wide when we neutralize inter-municipal differences in socio-demographic composition: this finding confirms the existence of a specific “territorial” effect. To explain it, we introduce theoretical determinants of spatial economy into the analysis. The location of economic activities and issues of physical distance from the workplace do indeed have a strong impact, but geographic inequality of employment access may also be due to residential-segregation and social-network effects.