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Skill-Biased Agglomeration Effects and Amenities: Theory with an Application to Italian Cities

  • Alberto Dalmazzo

    ()

  • Guido De Blasio

    ()

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    We provide a spatial equilibrium model with skill heterogeneity and then bring the model to data on workers living in Italian cities. Theoretically, we postulate that agglomeration to affect both production and consumption. Moreover, we allow the evaluation of urban amenities to vary across skill-groups. Empirically, we find evidence of a substantial urban rent premium, while we fail to find support for the urban wage premium. These results apply more dramatically to higheducated individuals, who care about the consumption effects of agglomeration disproportionately more than their lesseducated counterparts. We show that urban skilled workers benefit from jobs of higher quality (better working environment; higher consideration received by others) and valuate amenities more (local public goods, such as transportation, health and schooling services; shopping possibilities, and the cultural consumption potentials made possible by the location of cinemas, theaters, and museums).

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    File URL: http://www.econ-pol.unisi.it/quaderni/503.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 503.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:503
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    1. Albert Alesina & Stephan Danninger & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(3), pages 2.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2006. "Urban Resurgence and the Consumer City," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(8), pages 1275-1299, July.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The Rise of the Skilled City," NBER Working Papers 10191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Berger, Mark C. & Blomquist, Glenn C. & Sabirianova Peter, Klara, 2008. "Compensating differentials in emerging labor and housing markets: Estimates of quality of life in Russian cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 25-55, January.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Brueckner, J.K. & Thisse, J.-F. & Zenou, Y., 1996. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor ? An amenity-based theory," CORE Discussion Papers 1996065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    8. Alberto Dalmazzo & Guido Blasio, 2007. "Production and consumption externalities of human capital: an empirical study for Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 359-382, April.
    9. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "Physicians' Services and the Division of Labor across Local Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 948-82, October.
    10. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Smart Cities: Quality of Life, Productivity, and the Growth Effects of Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 324-335, May.
    11. Waldfogel, Joel, 2003. " Preference Externalities: An Empirical Study of Who Benefits Whom in Differentiated-Product Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 557-68, Autumn.
    12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1117, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
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    15. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
    16. 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.
    17. Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2000. "Who Benefits Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," NBER Working Papers 7944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Human capital externalities in cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 51, pages 2243-2291 Elsevier.
    19. Dwight W. Adamson & David E. Clark & Mark D. Partridge, 2004. "Do Urban Agglomeration Effects and Household Amenities have a Skill Bias?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 201-224.
    20. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
    21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521873161 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    23. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Yoshida, Atsushi, 2000. "Separating Urban Agglomeration Economies in Consumption and Production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 70-84, July.
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