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The Wage Gap between Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Areas

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  • Bonggeun Kim

Abstract

In the literature on measured wage inequality, only one recent study, by Glaeser and Mare(2001), has focused on the enormous wage gap between urban and non-urban workers in the United States. In the present paper, I replicate and extend Glaeser and Mare's original empirical work, and I present a new interpretation of the evidence based on my re-estimation. Contrary to Glaeser and Mare's theory that urban employment induces more rapid skill acquisition, I find that wage growth is no greater for urban workers than for non-urban workers. I show that both the original and extended empirical patterns can be fully explained by a simple spatial equilibrium model that incorporates two highly plausible phenomena: (1) a compensating wage differential for the higher cost of living in cities and (2) a dynamic tendency for more able workers to gravitate to cities once they discover that they belong in the "big leagu

Suggested Citation

  • Bonggeun Kim, 2004. "The Wage Gap between Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Areas," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 189, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    3. Marianne E. Page & Gary Solon, 2003. "Correlations between Brothers and Neighboring Boys in Their Adult Earnings: The Importance of Being Urban," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 831-856, October.
    4. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
    5. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-342, April.
    6. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    7. George Johnson, 1983. "Intermetropolitan Wage Differentials in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 309-332 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne E. Page & Gary Solon, 2003. "Correlations between Brothers and Neighboring Boys in Their Adult Earnings: The Importance of Being Urban," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 831-856, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban/non-urban wage gap; real wage gap; dynamic ability sorting; and market learning;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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