55th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "World Renaissance: Changing roles for people and places", 25-28 August 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
This paper follows the industry employment histories of all individuals at some point affiliated with the declining German and dismantling Swedish shipbuilding industries 1970-2000. We analyse the situation of the individual workers leaving shipbuilding through investigating to what extent they were employed at all, tended to move to related sectors inside or outside the region, and whether such moves were beneficial for the individuals. Drawing on recent research in especially Evolutionary Economic Geography and the impact of inter-industry relatedness on the prospects of regional economic change, we find remarkably similar results for the West German and Swedish case. Our findings indicate a notable impact of both geographical and industrial frictions of movement, and of the regional industry structure on the labor market outcomes for the workers leaving shipbuilding. These findings are discussed within the context of a mature industry in developed economies.