When working with regional data from different countries, issues concerning data comparability need to be solved, including regional comparability. Differing regional unit size is a common issue which influences the results of socio-economic analyses. In this paper, we introduce a strategy to deal with the regional incomparability of administrative data in international research. We propose a methodological approach based on the areal interpolation method, which facilitates the usage of advanced spatial analyses. To illustrate, we analyze spatial patterns of unemployment in seven Central European countries. We use a very detailed spatial (municipal) level to reveal local tendencies. To have comparable units across the whole region, we apply the areal interpolation method, a process of projecting data from source administrative units to the target structure of a grid. After choosing the most suitable grid structure and projecting the data onto the grid, we perform a hot spot analysis to show the benefits of the grid structure for socio-economic analyses. The proposed approach has great potential in international research for its methodological correctness and the ability to interpret results.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited