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Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!

Author

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  • Pierre-Philippe Combes

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Gilles Duranton

    () (Department of Economics - University of Toronto)

  • Laurent Gobillon

    (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques)

Abstract

Spatial wage disparities can result from spatial differences in the skill composition of the workforce, in non-human endowments, and in local interactions. To distinguish between these explanations, we estimate a model of wage determination across local labour markets using a very large panel of French workers. We control for worker characteristics, worker fixed effects, industry fixed effects, and the characteristics of the local labour market. Our findings suggest that individual skills account for a large fraction of existing spatial wage disparities with strong evidence of spatial sorting by skills. Interaction effects are mostly driven by the local density of employment. Not controlling for worker heterogeneity leads to very biased estimates of interaction effects. Endowments only appear to play a small role.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2008. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," Post-Print halshs-00754296, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754296
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2007.04.004
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754296
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local labour markets; Spatial wage disparities; Panel data analysis; Sorting;

    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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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