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Productivity in cities: self-selection and sorting

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  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

Productivity is high in cities partly because the urban environment acts as a self-selection mechanism. If workers have imperfect information about the quality of workers with whom they match and matches take place within cities, then high-ability workers will choose to live and work in expensive cities. This self-selection improves the quality of matches in such cities. The mechanism may be reinforced by the development of informational networks in cities with a large proportion of high ability workers. As a consequence productivity in these cities is high for workers of all ability types.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony J. Venables, 2010. "Productivity in cities: self-selection and sorting," Economics Series Working Papers 507, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:507
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/4625/paper507.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amiti, Mary & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2005. "Trade and industrial location with heterogeneous labor," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 392-412, December.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Fingleton & Simonetta Longhi, 2013. "The Effects Of Agglomeration On Wages: Evidence From The Micro-Level," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 443-463, August.
    2. Nabavi, Pardis, 2015. "Increasing Wage Gap, Spatial Structure and Market Access: Evidence from Swedish Micro Data," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 409, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    3. Rahul Anand & Kalpana Kochhar & Saurabh Mishra, 2015. "Make in India; Which Exports Can Drive the Next Wave of Growth?," IMF Working Papers 15/119, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Roux, Sébastien, 2012. "Sorting and local wage and skill distributions in France," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 913-930.
    5. Behrens, Kristian & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2015. "Agglomeration Theory with Heterogeneous Agents," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
    7. Suzanne Kok, 2014. "Matching worker skills to job tasks in the Netherlands: sorting into cities for better careers," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-36, December.
    8. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks, And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 856-892, November.
    9. World Bank, 2014. "Regional Economic Impact Analysis of High Speed Rail in China : Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19996, The World Bank.
    10. Håkansson, Johan & Isacsson, Gunnar, 2013. "How Does Employment Density Influence Individuals' Wages? A Micro Data Approach," HUI Working Papers 97, HUI Research.
    11. Sasaki, Innan & Yoshikawa, Katsuhiko, 2014. "Going beyond national cultures – Dynamic interaction between intra-national, regional, and organizational realities," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 455-464.
    12. Torfs, Wouter & Zhao, Liqiu, 2015. "Everybody needs good neighbors? Labor mobility costs, cities and matching," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-54.
    13. Elisabeth Bublitz & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "Balanced Skills and the City: An Analysis of the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Skill Balance, Thickness, and Innovation," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 475-508, October.
    14. Suzanne Kok, 2013. "Matching worker skills to job tasks in the Netherlands: Sorting into cities for better careers," CPB Discussion Paper 247, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Justin Doran & Bernard Fingleton, 2015. "Resilience from the micro perspective," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 8(2), pages 205-223.
    16. Fabien Candau & Elisa Dienesch, 2015. "Spatial distribution of skills and regional trade integration," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 451-488, March.
    17. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:5:p:935-958. is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Kok, Suzanne, 2014. "Town and city jobs: How your job is different in another location," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 58-67.
    19. Haußen, Tina & Haussen, Tina, 2016. "Job Changes and Interregional Migration of Graduates," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145618, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Suzanne Kok, 2013. "Town and city jobs: Your job is different in another location," CPB Discussion Paper 246, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    21. Yip, Chi Man, 2011. "Size and The City: Productivity, Match Quality and Wage Inequality," MPRA Paper 31255, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Yuming Fu & Yang Hao, 2015. "An Urban Accounting for Geographic Concentration of Skills and Welfare Inequality," ERSA conference papers ersa15p734, European Regional Science Association.
    23. Denis Ivanov, 2014. "Transition and path-dependence in knowledge-intensive industry location: Case of Russian professional services," ERSA conference papers ersa14p767, European Regional Science Association.
    24. Ying Jin & Richard Bullock & Wanli Fang, 2013. "Regional Impacts of High Speed Rail in China : Spatial Proximity and Productivity in an Emerging Economy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19989, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic geography; productivity; city; urban; sorting; self-selection;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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