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Learning By Working In Big Cities

Individual earnings are higher in bigger cities. We consider three reasons: spatial sorting of initially more productive workers, static advantages from workers’ current location, and learning by working in bigger cities. Using rich administrative data for Spain, we find that workers in bigger cities do not have higher initial ability as reflected in fixed effects. Instead, they obtain an immediate static premium and accumulate more valuable experience. The additional value of experience in bigger cities persists after leaving and is stronger for those with higher initial ability. This explains both the higher mean and greater dispersion of earnings in bigger cities.

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Paper provided by CEMFI in its series Working Papers with number wp2013_1301.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2013_1301
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  11. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2004. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," CEPR Discussion Papers 4240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296, August.
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  19. Giordano Mion & Paolo Naticchioni, 2009. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42670, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  20. Thomas J. Holmes, 2010. "Structural, Experimentalist, And Descriptive Approaches To Empirical Work In Regional Economics," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 5-22.
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