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Search, wage posting and urban spatial structure

  • Yves Zenou

We develop an urban-search model in which firms post wages. When all workers are identical, there is a unique wage in equilibrium even in the presence of search and spatial frictions. This wage is affected by spatial and labor costs. When workers differ according to the value imputed to leisure, we show that, under some conditions, two wages emerge in equilibrium. The commuting cost affects the land market but also the labor market through wages. Workers’ productivity also affects housing prices and this impact can be positive or negative depending on the location in the city. We then run some numerical simulations to reproduce some stylized facts about the labor-market outcomes of black and white workers. We find that a reduction in commuting costs for all workers reduces the unemployment rate of white workers and the profit of all firms but increases the wage of all workers (black and white) and raises the fraction of firms posting the high wage.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 387-416

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:11:y:2011:i:3:p:387-416
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  1. BRUECKNER, Jan K. & THISSE, Jacques-François & ZENOU, Yves, . "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor? An amenity-based theory," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment With Explicit Spatial Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
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  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
  18. Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Search in Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 6197, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Smith, Tony E & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Spatial Mismatch, Search Effort and Urban Spatial Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3731, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2001. "Labor Heterogeneity in an Urban Labor Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 313-337, September.
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  22. 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.
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  25. Holzer Harry J. & Ihlanfeldt Keith R. & Sjoquist David L., 1994. "Work, Search, and Travel among White and Black Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 320-345, May.
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  27. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2004. "City structure, search, and workers' job acceptance behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 350-370, March.
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