Learning by working in big cities
AbstractIndividual earnings are higher in bigger cities. We consider three reasons: spatial sorting of initially more productive workers, static advantages associated with workers' current location, and learning by working in big cities. Using rich administrative data for Spain, we find that workers in bigger cities do not have higher unobserved initial ability, as reflected in individual fixed-effects. Instead, they obtain an immediate static premium while working in bigger cities and also accumulate more valuable experience, which increases their earnings faster. The additional value of experience accumulated in bigger cities persists even after workers move away and is even stronger for those with higher unobserved initial ability. This combination of effects explains both the higher mean and the greater dispersion of earnings in bigger cities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9243.
Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
- 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-2012-12-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2012-12-22 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-LAB-2012-12-22 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2012-12-22 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-URE-2012-12-22 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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- Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Ronni Pavan, 2012.
"Understanding the City Size Wage Gap,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 88-127.
- Bacolod, Marigee & Blum, Bernardo S. & Strange, William C., 2009. "Skills in the city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 136-153, March.
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