IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmoi/0024.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Return to Big City Experience: Evidence from Danish Refugees

Author

Listed:
  • Fabian Eckert
  • Mads Hejlesen
  • Conor Walsh

Abstract

We offer causal evidence of higher returns to experience in big cities. Exploiting a natural experiment that settled political refugees across labor markets in Denmark between 1986 and 1998, we find that while refugees initially earn similar wages across locations, those placed in Copenhagen exhibit 35% faster wage growth with each additional year of experience. This gap is driven primarily by differential sorting towards high-wage establishments, occupations, and industries. An estimated spatial model of earnings dynamics attributes an important role to unobserved worker ability: more able refugees transition to more productive establishments faster in Copenhagen than in other cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Eckert & Mads Hejlesen & Conor Walsh, 2019. "The Return to Big City Experience: Evidence from Danish Refugees," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmoi:0024
    DOI: 10.21034/iwp.24
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/institute/working-papers-institute/iwp24.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olof Åslund & John Östh & Yves Zenou, 2010. "How important is access to jobs? Old question--improved answer," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 389-422, May.
    2. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof Åslund, 2003. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants—Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357.
    3. Pierre‐Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2012. "The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration From Firm Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2543-2594, November.
    4. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 2, pages 35-80, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. 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.
    6. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    7. Piil Damm, Anna, 2005. "The Danish Dispersal Policy on Refugee Immigrants 1986-1998: A Natural Experiment?," Working Papers 05-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof Åslund, 2004. "Settlement policies and the economic success of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 133-155, February.
    9. D'Costa, Sabine & Overman, Henry G., 2014. "The urban wage growth premium: Sorting or learning?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 168-179.
    10. Kristian Behrens & Gilles Duranton & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2014. "Productive Cities: Sorting, Selection, and Agglomeration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 507-553.
    11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    14. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Immigrating to Opportunity: Estimating the Effect of School Quality Using a Natural Experiment on Ethiopians in Israel," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 489-526.
    15. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
    16. Shoag, Daniel & Carollo, Nicholas, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Place: Evidence from Japanese-American Internment," Working Paper Series 16-022, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    17. 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.
    18. Christian Giødesen Lund & Rune Vejlin, 2015. "Documenting and Improving the Hourly Wage Measure in the Danish IDA Database," Economics Working Papers 2015-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    19. Ariel Burstein & Gordon Hanson & Lin Tian & Jonathan Vogel, 2017. "Tradability and the Labor-Market Impact of Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Anna Damm & Michael Rosholm, 2010. "Employment effects of spatial dispersal of refugees," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 105-146, March.
    21. 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.
    22. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    23. Grujovic, Anja, 2018. "Tasks, cities and urban wage premia," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1807, CEPREMAP.
    24. Theodore Papageorgiou, 2011. "Worker Sorting and Agglomeration Economies," 2011 Meeting Papers 660, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    25. Diego Puga, 2010. "The Magnitude And Causes Of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 203-219, February.
    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. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    28. 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.
    29. Ilse Lindenlaub, 2017. "Sorting Multidimensional Types: Theory and Application," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 718-789.
    30. Mette Foged & Giovanni Peri, 2013. "Immigrants' and Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data," NBER Working Papers 19315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. repec:hrv:faseco:30367426 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Bednarek, Peter & te Kaat, Daniel Marcel & Ma, Chang & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2019. "Capital flows, real estate, and local cycles: Evidence from German cities, banks, and firms," Discussion Papers 45/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    3. Acosta, Camilo & Lyngemark, Ditte Håkonsson, 2019. "The Internal Spatial Organization of Firms: Evidence from Denmark," MPRA Paper 95283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Charly Porcher & Hannah Rubinton & Clara Santamaría, 2020. "The Role of Establishment Size in the City-Size Earnings Premium in Spain," Working Papers 2020-029, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 247-348, Elsevier.
    2. 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.
    3. Paul Verstraten & Gerard Verweij & Peter Zwaneveld, 2018. "Why do wages grow faster in urban areas? Sorting of high potentials matters," CPB Discussion Paper 377.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. D'Costa, Sabine & Overman, Henry G., 2014. "The urban wage growth premium: Sorting or learning?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 168-179.
    5. Stef Proost & Jacques-François Thisse, 2019. "What Can Be Learned from Spatial Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 575-643, September.
    6. 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].
    7. J. Meekes & W.H.J. Hassink, 2018. "Endogenous local labour markets, regional aggregation and agglomeration economies," Working Papers 18-03, Utrecht School of Economics.
    8. Behrens, Kristian & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2015. "Agglomeration Theory with Heterogeneous Agents," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 171-245, Elsevier.
    9. Bonomi Barufi, Ana Maria & Amaral Haddad, Eduardo & Nijkamp, Peter, 2016. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? Selection on Migration and Learning in Cities in Brazil," TD NEREUS 1-2016, Núcleo de Economia Regional e Urbana da Universidade de São Paulo (NEREUS).
    10. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2014. "The Growth of Cities," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 5, pages 781-853, Elsevier.
    11. Bosquet, Clément & Overman, Henry G., 2019. "Why does birthplace matter so much?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 26-34.
    12. Peters, Jan Cornelius, 2016. "Quantifying the effect of labor market size on learning externalities," Economics Working Papers 2016-11, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    13. Fabien Candau & Elisa Dienesch, 2015. "Spatial distribution of skills and regional trade integration," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 451-488, March.
    14. Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2016. "What Drives The Urban Wage Premium? Evidence Along The Wage Distribution," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 191-209, March.
    15. Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Heterogeneous skills and homogeneous land: segmentation and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 767-798, September.
    16. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2020. "The Economics of Urban Density," Working Papers wp2020_2015, CEMFI.
    17. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2016. "Benefits of dense labour markets - Evidence from transitions to employment in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145715, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Microeconometric Analyses on Economic Consequences of Selective Migration," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61.
    19. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2012. "The Cost of Agglomeration: Land Prices in Cities," Sciences Po publications 9240, Sciences Po.
    20. Sabine D'Costa & Henry Overman, 2013. "The urban wage growth premium: evidence from British cities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p516, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agglomeration economies; Urban; Regional labor markets; Resettlement; Wage differentials;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • 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

    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:fip:fedmoi:0024. 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: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cfrbmus.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.