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The Geographic Distribution of Human Capital: Measurement of Contributing Mechanisms

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  • Peter McHenry

    () (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

Abstract

This paper investigates how the geographic distribution of human capital evolves over time. With U.S. data, I decompose generation-to-generation changes in local human capital into three factors: the previous generation’s human capital, intergenerational transmission of skills from parents to their children, and migration of the children. I find evidence of regression to the mean of local skills at the state level and divergence at the commuting zone level. Labor market size, climate, local colleges, and taxes affect local skill measures. Skills move from urban to rural labor markets through intergenerational transmission but from rural to urban labor markets through migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter McHenry, 2010. "The Geographic Distribution of Human Capital: Measurement of Contributing Mechanisms," Working Papers 92, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:92
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    File URL: http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp92.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2012. "Are Wage Premiums for Black Women Illusory? A Critical Examination," Working Papers 120, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    2. Peter McHenry, 2011. "The Relationship between Location Choice and Earnings Inequality," Working Papers 112, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    3. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2015. "Estimating Hispanic-White Wage Gaps Among Women: The Importance of Controlling for Cost of Living," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 249-273, September.
    4. Bijlsma, Ineke & van den Brakel, Jan & van der Velden, Rolf & Allen, James, 2017. "Estimating literacy levels at a detailed regional level: An application using Dutch data," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    5. Tommaso Agasisti & Cristian Barra & Roberto Zotti, 2017. "Research, knowledge transfer and innovation: the effect of Italian universities’ efficiency on the local economic development 2006-2012," Working papers 60, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    6. Winters, John V., 2014. "The Production and Stock of College Graduates for U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 8730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Peter McHenry & Melissa McInerney, 2014. "The Importance of Cost of Living and Education in Estimates of the Conditional Wage Gap Between Black and White Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 695-722.
    8. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2015. "State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs And College Attainment," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 364-390, June.
    9. John V. Winters, 2015. "Do higher levels of education and skills in an area benefit wider society?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 130-130, March.
    10. Nadia Granato & Anette Haas & Silke Hamann & Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2015. "The Impact Of Skill-Specific Migration On Regional Unemployment Disparities In Germany," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 513-539, September.
    11. K. Bruce Newbold & W. Mark Brown, 2015. "The Urban–Rural Gap In University Attendance: Determinants Of University Participation Among Canadian Youth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 585-608, September.
    12. Umut Erdem, 2016. "Regional Human Capital Distribution And Disparities In Turkey," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 16-31, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Intergenerational transmission; Regional labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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