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Down from the Mountain: Skill Upgrading and Wages in Appalachia

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  • Bollinger, Christopher R.

    () (University of Kentucky)

  • Ziliak, James P.

    () (University of Kentucky)

  • Troske, Kenneth

    () (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Despite evidence that skilled labor is increasingly concentrated in cities, whether regional wage inequality is predominantly due to differences in skill levels or returns is unknown. We compare Appalachia, with its wide mix of urban and rural areas, to other parts of the U.S., and find that gaps in both skill levels and returns account for the lack of high wage male workers. For women, skill shortages are important across the distribution. Because rural wage gaps are insignificant, our results suggest that widening wage inequality between Appalachia and the rest of the U.S. owes to a shortage of skilled cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Bollinger, Christopher R. & Ziliak, James P. & Troske, Kenneth, 2009. "Down from the Mountain: Skill Upgrading and Wages in Appalachia," IZA Discussion Papers 4249, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4249
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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12203 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2014. "Trends in China’s gender employment and pay gap: Estimating gender pay gaps with employment selection," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 708-725.
    3. Christophe Nordman & Julia Vaillant, 2013. "Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar," Working Papers DT/2013/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Partridge, Mark & Betz, Mike, 2012. "Country Road Take Me Home: Migration Patterns in the Appalachia America and Place-Based Policy," MPRA Paper 38293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; region;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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