An application of Taylor's power law to measure overdispersion of the unemployed in English labor markets

Alastair Greig, John Dewhurst, Malcolm Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Taylor's power law (TPL) is the power relation between mean densities and variance of natural populations, and described as one of ecology's few ubiquitous laws. Although the power model has been increasingly applied in social systems modeling, including economics, this article, using English and Welsh economic data as an applied example, suggests that TPL ought to be imported more carefully. The article seeks to convince readers that ecological population methodologies can have an important role in analysis of human spatial behavior, and that this function should not be diminished in pursuit of quick interdisciplinary results. Through the production of "scale-adjusted dispersion indicators," the article proposes an application of TPL that is quite different from its use in ecological modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-133
Number of pages13
JournalGeographical Analysis
Issue number2
Early online date17 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ecological modeling
  • economic analysis
  • labor market
  • power law
  • unemployment

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