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Why are Low-Skilled Workers less Mobile ? The role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions

Author

Listed:
  • Benoît SCHMUTZ

    () (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST, France)

  • Modibo SIDIBÉ

    () (Duke University, USA)

  • Élie VIDAL-NAQUET

    () (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France)

Abstract

Workers’ propensity to migrate to another local labor market varies a lot by occupation. We use the model developed by Schmutz and Sidibé (2019) to quantify the impact of mobility costs and search frictions on this mobility gap. We estimate the model on a matched employer-employee panel dataset describing labor market transitions within and between the 30 largest French cities for two groups at both ends of the occupational spectrum and find that: (i)mobility costs are very comparable in the two groups, so they are three times higher for blue-collar workers relative to their respective expected income; (ii)Depending on employment status, spatial frictions are between 1.5 and 3.5 times higher for blue-collar workers; (iii)Moving subsidies have little (and possibly negative) impact on the mobility gap, contrary to policies targeting spatial frictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Benoît SCHMUTZ & Modibo SIDIBÉ & Élie VIDAL-NAQUET, 2020. "Why are Low-Skilled Workers less Mobile ? The role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions," Working Papers 2020-15, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2020-15
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    File URL: http://crest.science/RePEc/wpstorage/2020-15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Florian Oswald, 2019. "The effect of homeownership on the option value of regional migration," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1453-1493, November.
    2. Rebecca Diamond, 2016. "The Determinants and Welfare Implications of US Workers' Diverging Location Choices by Skill: 1980-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 479-524, March.
    3. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
    4. Amior, Michael, 2019. "Education and geographical mobility: the role of the job surplus," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102701, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mobility costs; spatial frictions; migration; local labor markets; occupation.;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • 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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