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Place Based Policies with Unemployment

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  • Kline, Patrick
  • Moretti, Enrico

Abstract

Many countries have policies aimed at creating jobs in depressed areas with high unemployment rates. In standard spatial equilibrium models with perfectly competitive labor and land markets, local job creation efforts are distortionary. We develop a stylized model of frictional local labor markets with the goal of studying the efficiency of unemployment differences across areas and the potential for place based policies to correct local market failures. Our model builds on the heavily studied Diamond - Mortensen - Pissarides framework, adapted to a local labor market setting with a competitive housing market. The result is a simple search analogue of the classic Roback (1982) model that provides a tractable environment for studying the effects of local job creation efforts. In the model, workers are perfectly mobile and the productivity of worker-firm matches may vary across metropolitan areas. In equilibrium, higher local productivity results in higher nominal wages, higher housing costs, and lower unemployment rates. Although workers can move freely to arbitrage away differences in expected utility across metropolitan areas, equilibrium unemployment rates are not equalized across space. We find that if hiring costs are excessive, firms may post too few vacancies. This problem may be offset via local hiring subsidies of the sort found in many place based policies. The optimal hiring subsidy is city specific in the sense that it depends upon the local productivity level.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9330.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9330

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Keywords: cities; spatial equilibrium;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Moretti, Enrico & Wilson, Daniel J., 2014. "State incentives for innovation, star scientists and jobs: Evidence from biotech," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 20-38.
  2. Holger Breinlich & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Jonathan R. W. Temple, 2013. "Regional growth and regional decline," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51575, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Lutgen, Vanessa & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2013. "Regional Equilibrium Unemployment Theory at the Age of the Internet," IZA Discussion Papers 7763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Briant, Anthony & Lafourcade, Miren & Schmutz, Benoît, 2013. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1316, CEPREMAP.

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