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Cities, Tasks and Skills

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  • Kok, Suzanne

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    (SEO Amsterdam)

Abstract

This research applies a task-based approach to measure and interpret changes in the employment structure of the 168 largest US cities in the period 1990-2009. As a result of technological change some tasks can be placed at distance, while others require proximity. We construct a measure of task connectivity to investigate which tasks are more likely to require proximity relative to others. Our results suggest that cities with higher shares of connected tasks experienced higher employment growth. This result is robust to a variety of other explanations including industry composition, routinisation, and the complementarity between skills and cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8053
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cities; tasks; occupations; employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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