IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpb/discus/377.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why do wages grow faster in urban areas? Sorting of high potentials matters

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Verstraten

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Gerard Verweij
  • Peter Zwaneveld

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

The existence of an urban wage growth premium is a well-established empirical fact. This article challenges the conventional view that faster wage growth for urban workers is caused by human capital spillovers. Instead, we find that the positive association between city size and individual wage growth is to a large extent driven by sorting of workers and firms, with inherently higher wage growth, into bigger cities. Having controlled for spatial sorting, we conclude that only young workers experience significant urban wage growth benefits. Wage level benefits of urban areas are important to all types of workers, especially the highly educated.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Verstraten & Gerard Verweij & Peter Zwaneveld, 2018. "Why do wages grow faster in urban areas? Sorting of high potentials matters," CPB Discussion Paper 377, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:377
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/omnidownload/CPB-Discussion-Paper-377-why-do-wages-grow-faster-in-urban-areas.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    2. Pierre‐Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2012. "The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration From Firm Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2543-2594, November.
    3. Rice, Patricia & Venables, Anthony J. & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2006. "Spatial determinants of productivity: Analysis for the regions of Great Britain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 727-752, November.
    4. Giordano Mion & Paolo Naticchioni, 2009. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 28-55, February.
    5. Diego Puga, 2010. "The Magnitude And Causes Of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 203-219, February.
    6. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    7. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315.
    8. Mark van Duijn & Jan Rouwendal, 2013. "Cultural heritage and the location choice of Dutch households in a residential sorting model," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 473-500, May.
    9. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    10. Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2016. "What Drives The Urban Wage Premium? Evidence Along The Wage Distribution," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 191-209, March.
    11. D'Costa, Sabine & Overman, Henry G., 2014. "The urban wage growth premium: Sorting or learning?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 168-179.
    12. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2003. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 377-393, May.
    13. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2008. "The attenuation of human capital spillovers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 373-389, September.
    14. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
    15. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2012. "Portage and Path Dependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 587-644.
    16. Jorge De La Roca & Diego Puga, 2017. "Learning by Working in Big Cities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 106-142.
    17. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
    18. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    19. E. D. Gould, 2007. "Cities, Workers, and Wages: A Structural Analysis of the Urban Wage Premium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 477-506.
    20. Faberman, R. Jason & Freedman, Matthew, 2016. "The urban density premium across establishments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 71-84.
    21. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2011. "The identification of agglomeration economies," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-266, March.
    22. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Ronni Pavan, 2012. "Understanding the City Size Wage Gap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 88-127.
    23. Lee, Sanghoon, 2010. "Ability sorting and consumer city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 20-33, July.
    24. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
    25. Stefan P.T. Groot & Henri L.F. Groot & Martijn J. Smit, 2014. "Regional Wage Differences In The Netherlands: Micro Evidence On Agglomeration Externalities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 503-523, June.
    26. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    27. Yankow, Jeffrey J., 2006. "Why do cities pay more? An empirical examination of some competing theories of the urban wage premium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 139-161, September.
    28. Wheeler, Christopher H, 2001. "Search, Sorting, and Urban Agglomeration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 879-899, October.
    29. Paul Verstraten & Gerard Verweij & Peter J. Zwaneveld, 2019. "Complexities in the spatial scope of agglomeration economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 29-55, January.
    30. Wheeler, Christopher H., 2006. "Cities and the growth of wages among young workers: Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 162-184, September.
    31. Ronald L. Moomaw, 1981. "Productivity and City Size: A Critique of the Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-688.
    32. Martin Andersson & Johan Klaesson & Johan P Larsson, 2014. "The sources of the urban wage premium by worker skills: Spatial sorting or agglomeration economies?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 727-747, November.
    33. Florian Lehmer & Joachim Möller, 2010. "Interrelations between the urban wage premium and firm-size wage differentials: a microdata cohort analysis for Germany," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 31-53, August.
    34. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    35. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2011. "The identification of agglomeration economies," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-266, March.
    36. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-375, April.
    37. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    38. Di Addario, Sabrina & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2008. "Wages and the City. Evidence from Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 1040-1061, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paul Verstraten, 2018. "The scope of the external return to higher education," CPB Discussion Paper 381.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Paul Verstraten, 2018. "The scope of the external return to higher education," CPB Discussion Paper 381, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paul Verstraten & Gerard Verweij & Peter Zwaneveld, 2018. "Why do wages grow faster in urban areas? Sorting of high potentials matters," CPB Discussion Paper 377.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 247-348, Elsevier.
    3. J. Meekes & W.H.J. Hassink, 2018. "Endogenous local labour markets, regional aggregation and agglomeration economies," Working Papers 18-03, Utrecht School of Economics.
    4. Behrens, Kristian & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2015. "Agglomeration Theory with Heterogeneous Agents," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 171-245, Elsevier.
    5. Peters, Jan Cornelius, 2016. "Quantifying the effect of labor market size on learning externalities," Economics Working Papers 2016-11, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    6. Jordy Meekes & Wolter H. J. Hassink, 2019. "Endogenous local labour markets, regional aggregation and agglomeration economies," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2019n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2016. "Benefits of dense labour markets - Evidence from transitions to employment in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145715, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Martin Andersson & Johan Klaesson & Johan P Larsson, 2014. "The sources of the urban wage premium by worker skills: Spatial sorting or agglomeration economies?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 727-747, November.
    9. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
    10. Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2016. "What Drives The Urban Wage Premium? Evidence Along The Wage Distribution," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 191-209, March.
    11. Carlsen, Fredrik & Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2016. "Education, experience, and urban wage premium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 39-49.
    12. Fredrik Carlsen & Jorn Rattso & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2013. "Education, experience and dynamic urban wage premium," Working Paper Series 15213, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    13. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
    14. Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Heterogeneous skills and homogeneous land: segmentation and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 767-798, September.
    15. Ana Maria Bonomi Barufi, 2016. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Dynamic Agglomeration Economies In Brazil," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 164, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    16. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    17. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Roux, Sébastien, 2012. "Sorting and local wage and skill distributions in France," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 913-930.
    18. Stefan P. T. Groot & Henri L. F. Groot, 2020. "Estimating the Skill Bias in Agglomeration Externalities and Social Returns to Education: Evidence from Dutch Matched Worker-Firm Micro-Data," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(1), pages 53-78, March.
    19. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2011. "The identification of agglomeration economies," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-266, March.
    20. Diego Puga, 2010. "The Magnitude And Causes Of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 203-219, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:377. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cpbgvnl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cpbgvnl.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.