IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/59074.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The urban wage growth premium: sorting or learning?

Author

Listed:
  • D'Costa, Sabine
  • Overman, Henry G.

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the urban wage premium and addresses two central issues about which the field has not yet reached a consensus: first, the extent to which sorting of high ability individuals into urban areas explains the urban wage premium and second, whether workers receive this wage premium immediately, or through faster wage growth over time. Using a large panel of worker-level data from Britain, we first demonstrate the existence of an urban premium for wage levels, which increases in city size. We next provide evidence of a city size premium on wage growth, but show that this effect is driven purely by the increase in wage that occurs in the first year that a worker moves to a larger location. Controlling for sorting on the basis of unobservables we find no evidence of an urban wage growth premium. Experience in cities does have some impact on wage growth, however. Specifically, we show that workers who have at some point worked in a city experience faster wage growth than those who have never worked in a city.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Costa, Sabine & Overman, Henry G., 2014. "The urban wage growth premium: sorting or learning?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59074, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:59074
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/59074/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charlot, Sylvie & Duranton, Gilles, 2004. "Communication externalities in cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 581-613, November.
    2. Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Local Multipliers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 373-377, May.
    3. Shihe Fu & Stephen L. Ross, 2013. "Wage Premia in Employment Clusters: How Important Is Worker Heterogeneity?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 271-304.
    4. Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2010. "Labour supply and commuting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 82-89, July.
    5. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2004. "Micro-foundations of urban agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 48, pages 2063-2117 Elsevier.
    6. Jorge De La Roca & Diego Puga, 2017. "Learning by Working in Big Cities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 106-142.
    7. E. D. Gould, 2007. "Cities, Workers, and Wages: A Structural Analysis of the Urban Wage Premium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 477-506.
    8. 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.
    9. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
    10. Shihe Fu & Stephen L. Ross, 2010. "Wage Premia in Employment Clusters: Agglomeration or Worker Heterogeneity?," Working Papers 10-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
    12. Gibbons, Stephen & Overman, Henry G. & Pelkonen, Panu, 2010. "Wage disparities in Britain: people or place?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30845, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Yankow, Jeffrey J., 2006. "Why do cities pay more? An empirical examination of some competing theories of the urban wage premium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 139-161, September.
    14. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    15. Wheeler, Christopher H., 2006. "Cities and the growth of wages among young workers: Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 162-184, September.
    16. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Marshall's scale economies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-28, January.
    17. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
    18. Jorge De la Roca, 2011. "Selection in initial and return migration: Evidence from moves across Spanish cities," Working Papers 2011-21, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    19. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. Chan Sewin & Stevens Ann H, 2004. "How Does Job Loss Affect the Timing of Retirement?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-26, May.
    23. Diego Puga, 2010. "The Magnitude And Causes Of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 203-219.
    24. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Saloner, Garth, 2000. "Competition and human capital accumulation: a theory of interregional specialization and trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 373-404, July.
    25. Daniel J. Graham & Patricia C. Melo, 2009. "Agglomeration Economies and Labour Productivity: Evidence from Longitudinal Worker Data for GBs Travel-to-Work Areas," SERC Discussion Papers 0031, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    26. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    27. Fredrik Carlsen & Jorn Rattso & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2013. "Education, experience and dynamic urban wage premium," Working Paper Series 15213, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    28. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Human capital externalities in cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 51, pages 2243-2291 Elsevier.
    29. Hildegunn Stokke & Jørn Rattsø & Fredrik Carlsen, 2012. "Urban wage premium increasing with education level: Identification of agglomeration effects for Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa12p459, European Regional Science Association.
    30. Zenou, Yves, 2009. "Search in cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 607-624, August.
    31. Di Addario, Sabrina & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2008. "Wages and the City. Evidence from Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 1040-1061, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    2. David C. Maré, 2016. "Urban Productivity Estimation with Heterogeneous Prices and Labour," Working Papers 16_21, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    3. Edyta Laszkiewicz, 2016. "Determinants Of Hourly Wages Inequality In Selected European Metropolises. The Results From The Multilevel Modelling," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 11(4), pages 853-869, December.
    4. Konstantin Büchel und Maximilian von Ehrlich, 2016. "Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data," Diskussionsschriften dp1608, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    5. Jan Cornelius Peters, 2016. "Quantifying the effect of labor market size on learning externalities," ERSA conference papers ersa16p615, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2016. "Benefits of dense labour markets - Evidence from transitions to employment in Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145715, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Ana Maria Bonomi Barufi, 2016. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Dynamic Agglomeration Economies In Brazil," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 164, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    8. Henderson, J. Vernon & Kriticos, Sebastian, 2017. "The development of the African system of cities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86349, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Chauvin, Juan Pablo & Glaeser, Edward & Ma, Yueran & Tobio, Kristina, 2017. "What is different about urbanization in rich and poor countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 17-49.
    10. Gustavo Adolfo García, 2016. "Agglomeration Economies in the Presence of an Informal Sector. The Colombian Case," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 014575, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    11. Edivaldo C. Neves Jr & Carlos R. Azzoni, Andre Chagas, 2017. "Skill wage premium and city size," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2017_19, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    12. Carlsen, Fredrik & Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2016. "Education, experience, and urban wage premium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 39-49.
    13. Kelle, Markus, 2016. "Wage growth, urbanization, and firm characteristics: Evidence for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 631, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Bosquet, Clément & Overman, Henry G, 2016. "Why does birthplace matter so much? Sorting, learning and geography," CEPR Discussion Papers 11085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Berlingieri, Francesco, 2017. "Local labor market size and qualification mismatch," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-055, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    16. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2017. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Male and Female Employment and Earnings in India," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 34(1), pages 28-64, March.
    17. Florian Mayneris, 2017. "Effets des infrastructures de transport sur le niveau et la localisation des activités économiques," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2017023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    18. Chen, Anping & Dai, Tianshi & Partridge, Mark, 2017. "Agglomeration and Firm Wage Inequality: Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 83516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Paul Verstraten & Gerard Verweij & Peter Zwaneveld, 2018. "Why do wages grow faster in urban areas? Sorting of high potentials matters," CPB Discussion Paper 377, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Berlingieri, Francesco, 2015. "Local labour market size and qualification mismatch," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113102, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Holl, Adelheid, 2016. "Highways and productivity in manufacturing firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 131-151.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban wage premium; agglomeration; cities; wage growth; worker mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:59074. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.