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Inter-city wage differentials and intra-city workplace centralization

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  • Dewey, Jim
  • Montes-Rojas, Gabriel

Abstract

We explore the interaction of inter-city and intra-city wage differentials by occupation. The paper makes two main contributions. 1) We construct an occupation-specific index of workplace centralization that accounts for the difference between average employment density from the perspective of employees in each occupation and average employment density from the perspective of all employees. 2) We provide empirical evidence that relative wages of central to non-central occupations increase with city size, or equivalently, the elasticity of wages with respect to city size increases with occupational centrality. We conjecture that this empirical regularity arises because, as city size increases, workers in more central occupations face an increasingly less desirable locus of housing prices and commuting times relative to workers who have jobs in residential areas. The results are robust to the inclusion of individual-specific human capital variables and city-specific fixed effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 602-609

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:5:p:602-609

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

Related research

Keywords: Monocentric model Wage differentials Wage gradients;

References

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  13. Roback, Jennifer, 1988. "Wages, Rents, and Amenities: Differences among Workers and Regions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 23-41, January.
  14. White, Michelle J., 1999. "Urban areas with decentralized employment: Theory and empirical work," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 1375-1412 Elsevier.
  15. Eberts, Randall W., 1981. "An empirical investigation of intraurban wage gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 50-60, July.
  16. Stuart A. Gabriel & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2004. "Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 438-444, February.
  17. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
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