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Dual Labor Markets, Urban Unemployment, and Multicentric Cities

  • Smith, Tony E.
  • Zenou, Yves

A two-sector model of urban unemployment is developed which focuses on the formation of a secondary sector under conditions in which a demand shock in the primary sector leads to a sharp increase in unemployment. The optimal location in the secondary sector (treated as a single firm) is shown to be at the edge of the city, giving rise to a multicentric urban spatial structure. Within this spatial setting, the main result of the paper is to establish conditions under which the new labor market equilibrium involves not only a decrease in unemployment, but also an increase in net income for those unemployed. These results are extended to the case in which all unemployment benefits are financed by local taxation of firms. In this context, it is shown that when taxation discourages entry of a secondary sector, there may be profit incentives for the primary sector to subsidize the entry of a secondary sector.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 76 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 185-214

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:76:y:1997:i:1:p:185-214
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Zenou, Y. & Smith, T. E., . "Efficiency wages, involuntary unemployment and urban spatial structure," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1171, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Haug, Peter, 1984. "Regional Policy Incentives in the Scottish Electronics Industry: Survey Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 31(3), pages 274-83, November.
  3. Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1991. "A Model of Dual Labor Markets When Product Demand Is Uncertain," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1373-83, November.
  4. Eberts, Randall W., 1981. "An empirical investigation of intraurban wage gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 50-60, July.
  5. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1986. "Tax Holidays as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 820-26, September.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
  7. Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1990. " The Real Effects of Tax-Based Incomes Policies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 309-24.
  8. McMillen, Daniel P. & Singell, Larry Jr., 1992. "Work location, residence location, and the intraurban wage gradient," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 195-213, September.
  9. SMITH, Tony E. & ZENOU, Yves, 1996. "Dual Labor Markets, Urban Unemployment and Multicentric Cities," CORE Discussion Papers 1996018, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1992. "Dual Labor Markets, Efficiency Wages, and Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 438-61, October.
  11. White, Michelle J., 1988. "Location choice and commuting behavior in cities with decentralized employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 129-152, September.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1984. "Gift Exchange and Efficiency-Wage Theory: Four Views," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 79-83, May.
  13. Steinnes, Donald N., 1977. "Causality and intraurban location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 69-79, January.
  14. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  15. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  16. Helsley, Robert W. & Sullivan, Arthur M., 1991. "Urban subcenter formation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-275, July.
  17. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," NBER Working Papers 1314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Madden, Janice Fanning, 1985. "Urban wage gradients: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-301, November.
  19. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  20. Ross, Stephen & Yinger, John, 1995. "Comparative static analysis of open urban models with a full labor market and suburban employment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 575-605, October.
  21. Magnac, Th, 1991. "Segmented or Competitive Labor Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 165-87, January.
  22. Henderson, Vernon & Mitra, Arindam, 1996. "The new urban landscape: Developers and edge cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 613-643, December.
  23. Frédéric GANNON & Yves ZENOU, 1997. "Segregation and Labor Discrimination in Cities," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 45, pages 233-249.
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