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Urban unemployment, agglomeration and transportation policies

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  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We study the role of unemployment in the context of the endogeneous formation of a monocentric city in which firms set efficiency wages to deter shirking. We first show that, in equilibrium, the employed locate at the vicinity of the city-centre, the unemployed reside at the city-edge and firms set up in the city-centre. We then show that there is a `spatial mismatch' between location and jobs because the further away from jobs the unemployed, the larger the level of unemployment. Finally, we derive some policy implications. We show that a policy that improves the city transportation network (by subsidizing the commuting costs of all workers) reduces urban unemployment, increasing utilities of all workers but also raising inequality, whereas a policy that supports the transportation of the unemployed only (by subsidizing their commuting costs) increases urban unemployment, not always raising workers' utilities, but reducing inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 77 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 97-133

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:77:y:2000:i:1:p:97-133

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R & Sjoquist, David L, 1990. "Job Accessibility and Racial Differences in Youth Employment Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 267-76, March.
  2. Thomas, Jonathan M., 1998. "Ethnic Variation in Commuting Propensity and Unemployment Spells: Some U.K. Evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 385-400, May.
  3. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-19, July.
  4. Smith, T. E. & Zenou, Y., . "Dual labor markets, urban unemployment, and multicentric cities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1283, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
  6. Zenou, Yves & Smith, Tony E., 1995. "Efficiency wages, involuntary unemployment and urban spatial structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 547-573, August.
  7. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Does Space Affect Search? A Theory of Local Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  10. Fujita,Masahisa & Thisse,Jacques-François, 2013. "Economics of Agglomeration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521171960, October.
  11. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
  12. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  13. Brueckner, Jan K. & Martin, Richard W., 1997. "Spatial mismatch: An equilibrium analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 693-714, November.
  14. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul, 1995. "When is the economy monocentric?: von Thunen and Chamberlin unified," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 505-528, August.
  15. Jan K. Brueckner & Yves Zenou, 2003. "Space and Unemployment: The Labor-Market Effects of Spatial Mismatch," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 242-262, January.
  16. Ihlanfeldt Keith R., 1993. "Intra-urban Job Accessibility and Hispanic Youth Employment Rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 254-271, March.
  17. E Borukhov & O Hochman, 1977. "Optimum and market equilibrium in a model of a city without a predetemined center," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 9(8), pages 849-856, August.
  18. Ingram, Gregory K. & Carroll, Alan, 1981. "The spatial structure of Latin American cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 257-273, March.
  19. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-40, October.
  20. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
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