Job Categories and Geographic Identity: A Category Stereotype Explanation for Occupational Agglomeration
AbstractI examine the phenomenon of occupational agglomeration â€“ the observation that workers with similar skills tend to co-locate geographically. Extant explanations point to the fact that industries also tend to agglomerate â€“ thereby creating a need for a particular type of employee to locate there. However, labor markets can pool even when propinquity to employers is not beneficial. I argue that particular types of work become associated with specific geographical locations. This association becomes a categorical stereotype â€“ which leads employers to prefer employees from particular geographic regions because they will seem more appropriate â€“ a form of â€œspatial signaling.â€ I test this theory in an online, virtual marketplace for freelancing services. I find that the greater the association between a particular job category and a country â€“ what I termjob specific geographic identityâ€“ the more likelyanyfreelancer from that country will win a job in that category. I also find this effect is stronger when a freelancer has no previous relevant experience but a bad experience by a buyer (at this job/country intersection) can eliminate this positive effect. This effect holds net of other explanations such as spatial mismatch, knowledge spillovers, and input cost advantages.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt31b4c6p8.
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Business; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Occupational Agglomeration; Job Categories; Space; Labor Markets;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-08-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2012-08-23 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2012-08-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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