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Human Capital Externalities and Growth of High- and Low-Skilled Jobs

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  • Jens Südekum

    ()
    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract

Human capital is unequally distributed across cities or regions within a country. The way how the spatial distribution of human capital evolves over time sheds light on the strength of concentration forces for high-skilled workers, such as localised increasing returns to human capital. In this paper I analyse the impact of human capital on local employment growth for Western German regions (1977–2006). Two main empirical facts are established: “Skilled cities” inWestern Germany grow faster. At the same time there is convergence of human capital shares across cities, i.e., high-skilledworkers do not increasingly concentrate in space.Whereas the first fact (the “smart city hypothesis”) similarly holds in Germany and in the US, there is a striking difference when it comes to the second fact. Some researchers have found an opposite trend of human capital divergence across US metropolitan areas. My findings suggest that human capital exhibits a different spatial trend in different countries. I present a theoretical model which shows that the spatial convergence trend does not imply that concentration forces for high-skilled workers are absent inWestern Germany, but only that they are relatively weak compared to countervailing dispersion forces. I further discuss some reasons that may explain the differences between Western Germany and the US. I emphasise the role of the tax system and the impact of pro-dispersive regional policy in Europe.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 230 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 92-114

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:230:y:2010:i:1:p:92-114

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Keywords: Human capital; local growth; externalities;

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Cited by:
  1. Vincenzo Verardi & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Robust Estimation of Linear Fixed Effects Panel Data Models with an Application to the Exporter Productivity Premium," Working Paper Series in Economics 168, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Wedemeier, Jan, 2012. "Creative professionals and high-skilled agents: Polarization of employment growth?," HWWI Research Papers 119, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  3. Ana María Díaz, 2011. "The Employment Advantages of Skilled Urban Areas," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 010087, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
  4. Hartmut Egger & Gabriel J Felbermayr, 2009. "Endogenous Skill Formation and the Source Country Effects of Emigration," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 308/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.

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