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Human Geography

Karl-Johan Lundquist


Human Geography

Technology shifts and reallocation of labour: On the role of leading industries


  • Mikhail Martynovich
  • Karl-Johan Lundquist

Summary, in English

In our paper we address a gap in the literature, identified by Silverberg (2007), who claims that we miss an objective criteria for identifying leading sectors associated with technology-induced structural change and measuring their effects on functioning of the economy. In particular, we analyse the role of leading industries in labour reallocation across regions as a mechanism of smoothing regional labour market disparities in times of industrial restructuring. In addressing the issue we try to bridge insights from macro-evolutionary economic geography with labour economics’ perspective on labour mobility as a response mechanism to economic shocks. Our findings suggest that (1) an industrial structure of a region, and, particularly, a presence of leading industries, which are driving structural change induced by introduction of ICT, played an important role in shaping patterns of inter-regional labour mobility in Sweden since 1985; (2) it is service branches that seem to be a major driver behind shaping labour mobility patterns while manufacturing has only a minor role mostly by helping to retain workers in a region; (3) an employment structure in a region plays a greater role than its size in terms of attracting/retaining workers in the region.


  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Human Geography


  • structural change
  • technology shift
  • labour reallocation
  • adjustment
  • industrial restructuring
  • leading industries

Conference name

Geography of Innovation 2014 Conference

Conference date

2014-01-23 - 2014-01-25

Conference place