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Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects

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  • Combes, Pierre-Philippe
  • Duranton, Gilles
  • Gobillon, Laurent
  • Roux, Sébastien

Abstract

Does productivity increase with density? We revisit the issue using French wage and TFP data. To deal with the ‘endogenous quantity of labour’ bias (i.e., urban agglomeration is consequence of high local productivity rather than a cause), we take an instrumental variable approach and introduce a new set of geological instruments in addition to standard historical instruments. To deal with the ‘endogenous quality of labour’ bias (i.e., cities attract skilled workers so that the effects of skills and urban agglomeration are confounded), we take a worker fixed-effect approach with wage data. We find modest evidence about the endogenous quantity of labour bias and both sets of instruments give a similar answer. We find that the endogenous quality of labour bias is quantitatively more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Roux, Sébastien, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 6728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6728
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agglomeration economies; instrumental variables; TFP; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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