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Urban Unemployment and City Formation. Theory and Policy Implications

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  • Zenou, Yves

    (CERAS, Ecole National des Ponts et Chaussées)

Abstract

We study the role of unemployment in the context of endogenous formation of a monocentric city where firms set efficiency wages to deter shirking. We first show that in equilibrium the employed locate at the vicinity of the city-center, the unemployed reside at the city-edge and firms set up in the city-center. We then establish conditions that ensure existence and uniquenes of both the labour-market equilibrium and the (monocentric) equilibrium urban configuration. Last, we perform different comparative statics analyses and derive some policy implications. We show in particular that a policy subsidizing the commuter costs of both the employed and unemployed workers reduces urban unemployment, increases utilities of all workers but raises inequality whereas a policy that subsidizes only unemployed workers' commuting costs increases urban unemployment, does not always raise workers' utilities but cuts inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Urban Unemployment and City Formation. Theory and Policy Implications," Seminar Papers 662, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0662
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-840, October.
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    3. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul, 1995. "When is the economy monocentric?: von Thunen and Chamberlin unified," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 505-528, August.
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    5. Wasmer, E. & Zenou, Y., 1997. "Equilibrium Urban Unemployment," DELTA Working Papers 97-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    6. Hartwick, John & Schweizer, Urs & Varaiya, Pravin, 1976. "Comparative statics of a residential economy with several classes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 396-413, December.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    8. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-1119, July.
    9. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455, March.
    10. E Borukhov & O Hochman, 1977. "Optimum and Market Equilibrium in a Model of a City without a Predetermined Center," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 9(8), pages 849-856, August.
    11. Fujita,Masahisa & Thisse,Jacques-François, 2013. "Economics of Agglomeration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107001411.
    12. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-972, October.
    13. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
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    15. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2000. "The First Year of the Eurosystem: Inflation Targeting or Not?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 95-99, May.
    2. Assar Lindbeck, 2002. "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, pages 19-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Persson, Mats, 2000. "Five Fallacies in the Social Security Debate," Seminar Papers 686, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    4. Lindbeck, A. & Wikstrom, S., 1999. "The ICT Revoluation in Consumer Product Markets," Papers 670, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency Wages; Agglomeration economies; Endogenous Location of Workers and Firms; Urban Unemployment; Subsidizing Commuting Costs;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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