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Search, Wage Posting, and Urban Spatial Structure

  • Zenou, Yves


    (Stockholm University)

We develop an urban-search model in which firms post wages. When all workers are identical, the Diamond paradox holds, i.e. there is a unique wage in equilibrium even in the presence of search and spatial frictions. This wage is affected by spatial and labor costs. When workers differ according to the value imputed to leisure, we show that, under some conditions, two wages emerge in equilibrium. The commuting cost affects the land market but also the labor market through wages. Workers’ productivity also affects housing prices and this impact can be positive or negative depending on the location in the city. One important aspect of our model is that, even with positive search costs, wage dispersion prevails in equilibrium, a feature not possible in the non-spatial model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3339.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Geography, 2011, 11 (3), 387 - 416
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3339
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  1. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2001. "Labor Heterogeneity in an Urban Labor Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 313-337, September.
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  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, June.
  4. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1983. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Working Paper Series 99, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment With Explicit Spatial Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gaumont D. & Schindler M. & Wright R., 2005. "“Alternative Theories of Wage Dispersion”," Working Papers ERMES 0505, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  7. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Why do the poor live in cities The role of public transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-24, January.
  8. Smith, Tony E & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Spatial Mismatch, Search Effort and Urban Spatial Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3731, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  10. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  11. Holzer Harry J. & Ihlanfeldt Keith R. & Sjoquist David L., 1994. "Work, Search, and Travel among White and Black Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 320-345, May.
  12. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1891, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  15. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  16. Randall W. Eberts & Joe A. Stone, 1992. "Wage and Employment Adjustment in Local Labor Markets," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wea.
  17. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1992. "Vacancies and the Recruitment of New Employees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 138-55, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  20. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  21. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2004. "City structure, search, and workers' job acceptance behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 350-370, March.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  25. Zenou, Yves, 2009. "Search in cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 607-624, August.
  26. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, June.
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