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Measuring human capital divergence in a growing economy

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  • Broxterman, Daniel A.
  • Yezer, Anthony M.

Abstract

The stylized fact that the fraction of workers who are college graduates appears to increase more in US cities where the initial share is larger has attracted significant attention. Furthermore, more educated cities appear to grow faster. These two trends could portend the divergence of cities by skill, with low-skill workers segregated in slow-growing or declining cities. This paper compares measures of skill divergence and finds that relative measures, which have the property of scale invariance, show no divergence for the period from 1970 to 2010. In addition, the relation between skill intensity and city growth appears to be concave, so that differences in the growth rate of skill intensity across cities may diminish over time as the average college share of the country rises.

Suggested Citation

  • Broxterman, Daniel A. & Yezer, Anthony M., 2020. "Measuring human capital divergence in a growing economy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:118:y:2020:i:c:s0094119020300267
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2020.103255
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Divergence; Human capital; Skill ratio; Urban growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • 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

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