Understanding the city size wage gap
AbstractIn 2000, wages of full time full year workers were more than 30 percent higher in metropolitan areas of over 1.5 million people than rural areas. The monotonic relationship between wages and city size is robust to controls for age, schooling and labor market experience. In this paper, we decompose the city size wage gap into various components. We propose an on-the-job search model that incorporates latent ability, search frictions, firm-worker match quality, human capital accumulation and endogenous migration between large, medium and small cities. Counterfactual simulations of the model indicate that variation in returns to experience and differences in wage intercepts across location type are the most important mechanisms contributing to the overall city size wage premium. Steeper returns to experience in larger cities is more important for college graduates while differences in wage intercepts is more important for high school graduates. Sorting on unobserved ability within education group and differences in labor market search frictions and distributions of firm-worker match quality contribute little or slightly negatively to observed city size wage premia in both samples.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/27.
Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Agglomeration; wage growth; urban wage premium;
Other versions of this item:
- 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
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- 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-2010-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CMP-2010-10-16 (Computational Economics)
- NEP-GEO-2010-10-16 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-LAB-2010-10-16 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-10-16 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2012.
"The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall,"
SERC Discussion Papers
0118, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
- Sturm, Daniel & Ahlfeldt, Gabriel & Redding, Stephen & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2013. "The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79873, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2012. "The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall," CEP Discussion Papers dp1154, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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