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Urbanization Externalities, Market Potential and Spatial Sorting of Skills and Firms

  • Mion, Giordano
  • Naticchioni, Paolo

Using a matched employer-employee dataset on Italy we look at the spatial distribution of wages among provinces. We find evidence of both urbanization and market potential externalities, with the second one being more relevant. However, spatial sorting of skills is at work and explains a great deal of spatial wage variability. We further show that this sorting is only partially due to migrations and it dampens estimates of spatial externalities. The evidence concerning the sorting of firms is instead quite weak. In the paper, we also find support of self-selection of migrants based on skills and a moderate evidence of the wage growth hypothesis. Finally, we show that the well-established correlation between the employer size and workers' skills is not simply the outcome of a co-location phenomenon.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5172.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5172
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  1. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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  8. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2008. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," Post-Print halshs-00754296, HAL.
  9. Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Distance, Skill Deepening and Development: Will Peripheral Countries Ever Get Rich?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0572, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Sabrina Di Addario & Eleonora Patacchini, 2006. "Is there an urban wage premium in Italy?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 570, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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