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Search, Migration, and Urban Land Use: The Case of Transportation Policies

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

We develop a search-matching model with rural-urban migration and an explicit land market. Wages, job creation, urban housing prices are endogenous and we characterize the steady-state equilibrium. We then consider three different policies: a transportation policy that improves the public transport system in the city, an entry-cost policy that encourages investment in the city and a restricting-migration policy that imposes some costs on migrants. We show that all these policies can increase urban employment but the transportation policy has much more drastic effects. This is because a decrease in commuting costs has both a direct positive effect on land rents, which discourages migrants to move to the city, and a direct negative effect on urban wages, which reduces job creation and thus migration. When these two effects are combined with search frictions, the interactions between the land and the labor markets have amplifying positive effects on urban employment. Thus, improving the transport infrastructure in cities can increase urban employment despite the induced migration from rural areas.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2010:19.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 08 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2010_0019
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/Email:


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  1. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2002. "Does City Structure Affect Job Search and Welfare?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 515-541, May.
  2. Pucher, John & Korattyswaropam, Nisha & Mittal, Neha & Ittyerah, Neenu, 2005. "Urban transport crisis in India," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 185-198, May.
  3. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Bogart, William T., 1996. "Enterprise Zones and Employment: Evidence from New Jersey," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 198-215, September.
  4. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  5. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Geographic Poverty Traps?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 86, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  6. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  7. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options," IZA Policy Papers 24, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt," Working Paper Series 629, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Rainald Borck & Matthias Wrede, 2008. "Subsidies for Intracity and Intercity Commuting," CESifo Working Paper Series 2321, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick M. Kline, 2010. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," NBER Working Papers 16096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 33, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  12. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
  13. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2008. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv208, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  14. Yasuhiro Sato, 2004. "Migration, Frictional Unemployment, and Welfare-Improving Labor Policies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 773-793.
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  16. Bosch, Mariano & Goni, Edwin & Maloney, William, 2007. "The determinants of rising informality in Brazil : Evidence from gross worker flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4375, The World Bank.
  17. Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Job search and mobility in developing countries. Theory and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-355, June.
  18. Banerjee, Biswajit, 1984. "Information flow, expectations and job search : Rural-to-urban migration process in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 239-257.
  19. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  20. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
  21. Mohtadi, Hamid, 1989. "Migration and job search in a dualistic economy : A Todaro-Stigler synthesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 373-378.
  22. Brueckner, Jan K. & Selod, Harris, 2006. "The political economy of urban transport-system choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 983-1005, August.
  23. 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 949-72, October.
  24. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Should Commuting Expenses Be Tax Deductible? A Welfare Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 80-99, January.
  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521698221 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  27. Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Urban unemployment, agglomeration and transportation policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 97-133, July.
  28. van Ommeren, Jos & Rietveld, Piet & Nijkamp, Peter, 1999. "Job Moving, Residential Moving, and Commuting: A Search Perspective," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 230-253, September.
  29. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Equilibrium search unemployment with explicit spatial frictions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 143-165, April.
  30. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521875387 is not listed on IDEAS
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  34. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2008. "Online Appendix for "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries"," Technical Appendices 06-167, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  35. Rama, Martin, 1998. "How Bad Is Unemployment in Tunisia? Assessing Labor Market Efficiency in a Developing Country," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 59-77, February.
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  37. De Borger, Bruno, 2009. "Commuting, congestion tolls and the structure of the labour market: Optimal congestion pricing in a wage bargaining model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 434-448, July.
  38. Ortega, Javier, 2000. "Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 92-112, January.
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