The Fading Attraction of Central Regions: an Empirical Note on Core–Periphery Gradients in Western Europe

This paper describes sectoral core–periphery gradients across Western European regions over the period 1975–2000, and it estimates the impact of EU membership on countries’ internal geography. Overall, it is found that the centrality of European regions has been losing importance as a determinant for the location of employment. Central regions have gained employment share in none of the eight broad sectors analysed, whereas peripheral regions have significantly gained employment share in four of these sectors. Accession to the EU has favoured countries’ peripheral regions in terms of manufacturing employment and their central regions in terms of service employment.

Spatial Economic Analysis, 1(2): 227-235, 2006. See publication