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High Relocation Costs in Search-Matching Models: Theory and Application to Spatial Mismatch

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

We develop a standard search-matching model in which mobility costs are so high that it is too costly for workers to relocate when a change in their employment status occurs. We show that, in equilibrium, wages increase with distance to jobs and commuting costs because firms need to compensate the transportation cost difference between the employed and unemployed workers at each location in the city. We also show that the equilibrium land rent is negatively affected by the unemployment benefit because an increase in the latter induce firms to create less jobs, which, in turn, reduces the competition in the land market. We then use this model to provide a mechanism for the observed spatial mismatch between where black workers live and where jobs are. Because blacks and whites differ by their contact rate, we show that the former reside far away from jobs, have higher unemployment rates and lower wages. This is because the housing market amplifies the negative effects of the labor market by creating additional frictions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2739.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2009, 16 (5), 534-546
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2739
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  1. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Spatial mismatch, transport mode and search decisions in England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 62-90, July.
  2. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
  3. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment With Explicit Spatial Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Harris Selod & Yves Zenou, 2004. "City Structure, Job Search and Labor Discrimination. Theory and Policy Implications," Working Papers 2004-13, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Chirinko, Robert S, 1982. "An Empirical Investigation of the Returns to Job Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 498-501, June.
  6. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2004. "City structure, search, and workers' job acceptance behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 350-370, March.
  7. Barron, John M & Gilley, Otis W, 1981. "Job Search and Vacancy Contacts: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 747-52, September.
  8. Laurent Gobillon & Harris Selod, 2007. "The Effects of Segregation and Spatial Mismatch on Unemployment : Evidence from France," Working Papers 2007-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
  10. Jos Van Ommeren & Michiel van Leuvensteijn, 2003. "New evidence of the effect of transaction costs on residential mobility," ERSA conference papers ersa03p7, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Manning, Alan, 2003. "The real thin theory: monopsony in modern labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 105-131, April.
  12. Smith, Tony E. & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Spatial mismatch, search effort, and urban spatial structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 129-156, July.
  13. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2001. "Labor Heterogeneity in an Urban Labor Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 313-337, September.
  14. Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Efficiency wages and unemployment in cities: The case of high-relocation costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 49-71, January.
  15. Seater, John J, 1979. "Job Search and Vacancy Contacts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 411-19, June.
  16. Jos van Ommeren & Arno van der Vlist & Peter Nijkamp, 2006. "Transport-Related Fringe Benefits: Implications For Moving And The Journey To Work," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 493-506.
  17. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  19. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1991. "Compensation for commutes in labor and housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 192-207, September.
  20. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
  21. Rogers, Cynthia L., 1997. "Job Search and Unemployment Duration: Implications for the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-132, July.
  22. Madden, Janice Fanning, 1985. "Urban wage gradients: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-301, November.
  23. repec:dgr:uvatin:20020063 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Jos Van Ommeren & Piet Rietveld, 2007. "Commuting and Reimbursement of Residential Relocation Costs," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 41(1), pages 51-73, January.
  25. 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.
  26. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521875387 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. 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.
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