Wage Effects from Changes in Local Human Capital in Britain
AbstractThis paper examines the wage effects arising from changing local human capital in the labour market areas of Britain. Employing wage regressions, it is found that individuals' wages are positively associated with changes in the employment shares of high-paid occupation workers in the British travel-to-work-areas for the late 1990s. I examine this positive association for different occupational groups (defined by pay) in order to disentangle between production function and consumer demand driven theoretical justifications. The former refer to production complementarities or wider productivity spillovers arising in areas with high shares of high-skill workers. According to the latter, the presence of a high income workforce in the economy boosts the demand for consumer services leading to an increase in low-pay, service related employment. As these services are non-traded, the increased demand for local low-paid services should be reflected in a wage premium for the relevant low-paid occupation employees in the areas with larger shares of high-paid workers. The wage impact is found to be stronger and significant for the bottom occupational quintile compared to the middle-occupational quintiles and using also sectoral controls the paper argues to provide some preliminary evidence for the existence of consumer demand effects. The empirical investigation addresses potential sources of biases controlling for time invariant unobserved area-specific characteristics and unobserved individual characteristics. Nevertheless, the paper points to a number of caveats of the analysis that warrant future research.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0039.
Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp
local labour markets; wages; consumer demand; human capital externalities;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2010-11-20 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-HAP-2010-11-20 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-LAB-2010-11-20 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-11-20 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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