Since the mid-1970s Spain has suffered from persistently high unemployment, as it has occurred in other parts of Europe. Although during the last few years the unemployment level has declined, there are still enormous disparities in the unemployment rate across groups, skills and regions. This thesis attempts to shed some light on the mechanisms of unemployment persistence and skill and regional mismatch in Spain.
Chapter 1 provides a first introductory analysis of Spanish data. The chapter emphasises the importance of skill and regional mismatch, which may have contributed about fifty percent to the observed increase in total unemployment over the last twenty years. The chapter also studies the cyclical pattern in the Spanish unemployment, which is a very important aspect in view of its magnitude. The following three chapters are devoted to the evaluation of different mechanisms that may have been at work. In all three chapters, the analysis relies on the specification, calibration and simulation of dynamic general equilibrium models with matching on the labour market. Chapter 2 focuses on cyclical fluctuations, with particular emphasis on the role of reallocation shocks. Chapter 3 focuses on « skill mismatch »; more precisely the chapter investigates to what extent unemployment rate disparities across skill groups can be explained in terms of a « ladder effect ». Chapter 4 focuses on regional disparities. A model is built to investigate the possible determinants of regional disparities and the role of labour mobility.