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Everybody needs good neighbors? Labor mobility costs, cities and matching

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  • Torfs, Wouter
  • Zhao, Liqiu

Abstract

We develop an assignment model for a city with central and suburban labor markets connected by commuting. We show that not all workers benefit from the agglomeration economies created by the dense central business district. Low-skilled workers in the suburban district are worse off by being close to the dense central business district. High-skilled workers gain more from the urban scale. The existence of labor mobility costs induces only high-skilled workers in the suburbs to commute to the central business district, which results in a decrease in the local contact efficiency for the left-behind low-skilled workers. The empirical evidence from a Belgian linked employer–employee dataset confirms this novel finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Torfs, Wouter & Zhao, Liqiu, 2015. "Everybody needs good neighbors? Labor mobility costs, cities and matching," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:55:y:2015:i:c:p:39-54
    DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2015.08.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job search; Assortative matching; Match quality; Labor mobility costs; Selection;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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