COMPARING THE NEW ENGLAND AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL RECESSIONS
LISA MORRIS GROBAR
During the early 1990s, both New England and Southern California experienced regional recessions that were much more severe than the national recession of 1990-1991. At first glance, these regional recessions appear to be similar phenomena. However, shift-share analysis conducted at the 3-digit Standard Industry Classification (SIC) level indicates that the underlying causes of the recessions were different. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, New England's manufacturing industries did not perform nearly so well as their national counterparts in creating new jobs and preventing job losses. The loss of regional competitiveness was the main factor explaining that region's recession. On the other hand, most of Southern California's industries performed about as well as their national counterparts during the recession. For Southern California, the industry structure of the region-in particular, its heavy reliance on defense-related production-contributed to the recession more than did a loss of regional competitiveness. Copyright 1996 Western Economic Association International.
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