Until recently, regional labour market imbalances were considered transitory phenomena caused by state failure in yielding distorted investment incentives and by labour market rigidities. Labour mobility and wage flexibility were at the core of the debate over the causes of and cures for regional imbalances. This book bears witness to the changed perspective of research. For instance, in the recent literature, internal migration is depicted as a cause of further geographical divergence. The book contributes to the debate by presenting important new findings on: a) the reasons why structural change in some sectors causes a slump in some regions; b) the extent to which poverty traps explain spatial imbalances; c) the degree of convergence across EU countries and regions; d) the role of labour mobility in Central and Eastern Europe; e) and the role of pro-active employment schemes and child care facilities in alleviating the hardship of the weakest segments of the population.

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