IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Industry localization and earnings inequality: evidence from U.S. manufacturing

  • Christopher H. Wheeler

While the productivity gains associated with the geographic concentration of industry (i.e. localization) are by now well-documented, little work has considered how those gains are distributed across individual workers. This paper offers evidence on the connection between total employment and the relative wage earnings of high- and low-skill workers (i.e. inequality) within two-digit manufacturing industries across the states and a collection of metropolitan areas in the U.S. between 1970 and 1990. Using two different measures - 90-10 percentile gaps in both overall and residual wages - I find that wage dispersion falls substantially as industry employment expands. Results from a simple decomposition of this relationship into average plant-size and plant-count components indicate overwhelmingly that average plant size is the primary driving mechanism. Although not necessarily inconsistent with theories appealing to intermediate inputs or technological spillovers, such findings are particularly supportive of Marshall's (1920) labor market pooling explanation for localization.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2004/2004-023.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2004-023.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2004-023
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166
Fax: (314)444-8753
Web page: http://www.stlouisfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1997. "Technological Change and Wages: An Inter-Industry Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, November.
  3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Employer Size and The Wage Structure in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 5393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 7444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Gordon Dahl, 1997. "Mobility and the Returns to Education: Testing A Roy Model With Multiple Markets," Working Papers 760, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  10. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
  11. Rebecca M. Blank & Alan S. Blinder, 1985. "Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 1567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1986. "Efficiency of resource usage and city size," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 47-70, January.
  13. Glaeser, Edward L. & Scheinkman, JoseA. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1995. "Economic growth in a cross-section of cities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, August.
  14. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gerald A. Carlino & Richard Voith, 1989. "Accounting for differences in aggregate state productivity," Working Papers 90-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  18. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
  19. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  20. Kenneth R Troske, 1994. "Evidence on the Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," Working Papers 94-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. Haskel, Jonathan, 1999. "Small Firms, Contracting-Out, Computers and Wage Inequality: Evidence from UK Manufacturing," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(261), pages 1-21, February.
  22. Sveikauskas, Leo A, 1975. "The Productivity of Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 393-413, August.
  23. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  24. Moomaw, Ronald L, 1981. "Productivity and City Size? A Critique of the Evidence [Are There Returns to Scale in City Size?]. [Bias in the Cross Section Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-88, November.
  25. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  26. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2004-023. 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: (Anna Xiao)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.