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Urban search models under high-relocation costs. Theory and application to spatial mismatch

  • Zenou, Yves

We develop a search-matching model in which mobility costs are so high that it is too costly for workers to relocate when a change in their employment status occurs. We show that, in equilibrium, wages increase with distance to jobs and commuting costs because firms need to compensate the transportation cost difference between the employed and unemployed workers at each location in the city. We also show that the equilibrium land rent is negatively affected by the unemployment benefit because an increase in the latter induce firms to create less jobs, which, in turn, reduces the competition in the land market. We then use this model to provide a mechanism for the observed spatial mismatch between where black workers live and where jobs are. We finally show that a transportation policy consisting in subsidizing the commuting costs of black workers can increase job creation and reduce unemployment if the level of the subsidy is set at a sufficiently high level.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 534-546

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:5:p:534-546
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Why do the poor live in cities The role of public transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-24, January.
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  6. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Scafidi, Benjamin, 2002. "Black Self-Segregation as a Cause of Housing Segregation: Evidence from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 366-390, March.
  7. Zenou, Yves, 2002. "How do Firms Redline Workers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Smith, Tony E & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Spatial Mismatch, Search Effort and Urban Spatial Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3731, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Madden, Janice Fanning, 1985. "Urban wage gradients: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-301, November.
  10. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  11. Chirinko, Robert S, 1982. "An Empirical Investigation of the Returns to Job Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 498-501, June.
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  17. GOBILLON Laurent & SELOD Harris, 2007. "The effects of segregation and spatial mismatch on unemployment: evidence from France," Research Unit Working Papers 0702, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  18. Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Urban unemployment, agglomeration and transportation policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 97-133, July.
  19. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
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  21. Rocheteau, Guillaume, 1999. "Balanced-Budget Rules and Indeterminacy of the Equilibrium Unemployment Rate," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 399-409, July.
  22. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Spatial mismatch, transport mode and search decisions in England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 62-90, July.
  23. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2002. "Does City Structure Affect Job Search and Welfare?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 515-541, May.
  24. Alan Manning, 2003. "The Real Thin Theory: Monopsony in Modern Labour Markets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0564, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  25. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  27. Michiel van Leuvensteijn & J. van Ommeren, 2003. "New evidence of the effect of transaction costs on residential mobility," CPB Discussion Paper 18, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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  37. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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