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 associated with workers' current location, and learning by working in big cities. Using rich administrative data for Spain, we find that workers in bigger cities do not have higher unobserved initial ability, as reflected in individual fixed-effects. Instead, they obtain an immediate static premium while working in bigger cities and also accumulate more valuable experience, which increases their earnings faster. The additional value of experience accumulated in bigger cities persists even after workers move away and is even stronger for those with higher unobserved initial ability. This combination of effects explains both the higher mean and the greater dispersion of earnings in bigger cities.
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- 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.
- MION, Giordano & NATICCHIONI, Paolo, 2006. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," CORE Discussion Papers 2006099, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- 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.
- Mion, Giordano & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2007. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," MPRA Paper 1721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Bacolod, Marigee & Blum, Bernardo S. & Strange, William C., 2009. "Skills in the city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 136-153, March.
- 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 338-75, April.
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