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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. Nathaniel Baum-snow & Ronni Pavan, 2009. "Understanding the City Size Wage Gap," 2009 Meeting Papers 524, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Eeckhout, Jan & Pinheiro, Roberto & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2010. "Spatial Sorting: Why New York, Los Angeles and Detroit attract the greatest minds as well as the unskilled," CEPR Discussion Papers 8151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The divergence of human capital levels across cities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(3), pages 407-444, 08.
  19. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew G. Resseger, 2010. "The Complementarity Between Cities And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 221-244.
  20. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2004. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," CEPR Discussion Papers 4240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  22. Goerlich, Francisco José & Mas, Matilde, 2009. "Drivers of Agglomeration: geography VS. History," MPRA Paper 15802, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
  23. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Divergence of Human Capital Levels Across Cities," NBER Working Papers 11617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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