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Place Based Policies with Unemployment

  • Kline, Patrick

    ()

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Moretti, Enrico

    ()

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Many countries have policies aimed at creating jobs in depressed areas with high unemployment rates. In standard spatial equilibrium models with perfectly competitive labor and land markets, local job creation efforts are distortionary. We develop a stylized model of frictional local labor markets with the goal of studying the efficiency of unemployment differences across areas and the potential for place based policies to correct local market failures. Our model builds on the heavily studied Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides framework, adapted to a local labor market setting with a competitive housing market. The result is a simple search analogue of the classic Roback (1982) model that provides a tractable environment for studying the effects of local job creation efforts. In the model, workers are perfectly mobile and the productivity of worker-firm matches may vary across metropolitan areas. In equilibrium, higher local productivity results in higher nominal wages, higher housing costs, and lower unemployment rates. Although workers can move freely to arbitrage away differences in expected utility across metropolitan areas, equilibrium unemployment rates are not equalized across space. We find that if hiring costs are excessive, firms may post too few vacancies. This problem may be offset via local hiring subsidies of the sort found in many place based policies. The optimal hiring subsidy is city specific in the sense that it depends upon the local productivity level.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7180.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7180
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  2. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2011. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," Working Papers 11-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  11. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 238-43, May.
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  19. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
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  21. Adriana D. Kugler & Gilles Saint-Paul, 2004. "How Do Firing Costs Affect Worker Flows in a World with Adverse Selection?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 553-584, July.
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  23. M. Deidda & A. Di Liberto & M. Foddi & G. Sulis, 2012. "Employment Subsidies, Informal Economy and Women’s Transition into Work in a Depressed Area: Evidence from a Matching Approach," Working Paper CRENoS 201216, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  24. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
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