IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Are Skilled Workers More Attracted to Economic Agglomerations?

  • Rosa Sanchis-Guarner


  • Enrique Lopez-Bazo


The New Economic Geographhy (NEG) models explain the formation and the consolidation of economic agglomerations through a self-sustained process in which a trade-off between centripetal and centrifugal forces takes place. The centripetal forces work through two mechanisms: those known as the backward and the forward linkages. The latter mechanism predicts that workers will be attracted towards economic agglomerations by higher real wages due to smaller price indexes in those regions with greater market potential. Recent contributions have tried to assess this assumption simultaneously estimating some of the structural coefficients of the NEG models. Nevertheless, in all these cases, migrants have been considered to be homogenous. Conversely, the basic hypothesis of this paper suggests that the effect of the market potential on the probability of migrating depends on the human capital level of the workers. The introduction of this assumption is consistent with previous empirical evidence that shows that human capital increases the probability of migration of the workers, accentuating the opportunity cost of not migrating. In agreement with the predictions derived from our theoretical model, the results obtained for the inter-provincial migrations in Spain in the two last decades confirm that qualified workers are more sensible to regional differences in market potential.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa06p120.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p120
Contact details of provider: Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Matthieu Crozet & Thierry Mayer & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2004. "How do firms agglomerate? A study of FDI in france," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  2. Dolado, Juan J. & Goria, Alessandra & Ichino, Andrea, 1993. "Immigration, Human Capital and Growth in the Host Country: Evidence from Pooled Country Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Regional wage and employment responses to market potential in the EU," Post-Print halshs-00754132, HAL.
  4. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
  5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1850, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Economic geography and regional production structure: an empirical investigation," Staff Reports 40, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  9. Robert Nakosteen & Olle Westerlund, 2004. "The effects of regional migration on gross income of labour in Sweden," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 581-595, 07.
  10. Jari RitsilAa & Mika Haapanen, 2003. "Where do the highly educated migrate? Micro-level evidence from finland," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 437-448.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  12. Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Pekkala, Sari, 1999. "Migration and individual earnings in Finland: a regional perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa094, European Regional Science Association.
  14. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  15. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Domenech & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2003. "Human capital as a factor of growth and employment at the regional level. The case of Spain," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 610.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  16. Jordi Pons Novell & Javier Silvestre & Daniel Aurelio Tirado Fabregat & Elisenda Paluzie Hernandez, 2004. "Were Spanish migrants attracted by industrial agglomerations? An analysis for the interwar years in the light of the new economic geography," Working Papers in Economics 121, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  17. Gordon H. Hanson, 1998. "Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," NBER Working Papers 6429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, October.
  19. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  20. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Lorenzo Serrano Martínez, 1998. "Capital Humano Y Movilidad Espacial Del Trabajo En La Economía Española," Working Papers. Serie EC 1998-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  22. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Regional Wage and Employment Responses to Market Potential in the EU," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00267437, HAL.
  23. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10191, Sciences Po.
  24. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-69, Sept.-Oct.
  25. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya & Henderson, J. Vernon & Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in Japan and China," 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 65, pages 2911-2977 Elsevier.
  26. Manuel Arellano & Olympia Bover, 2002. "Learning about migration decisions from the migrants: Using complementary datasets to model intra-regional migrations in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 357-380.
  27. Enrique L�pez-Bazo & Rosina Moreno, 2007. "Regional Heterogeneity in the Private and Social Returns to Human Capital," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 23-44.
  28. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Puga, Diego, 1997. "Agglomeration in the Global Economy: A Survey of the 'New Economic Geography'," CEPR Discussion Papers 1699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  30. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  31. Forslid, Rikard & Haaland, Jan I. & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 1999. "A U-Shaped Europe? A Simulation Study of Industrial Location," CEPR Discussion Papers 2247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Overman, Henry G., 2004. "The spatial distribution of economic activities in the European Union," 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 64, pages 2845-2909 Elsevier.
  33. Antolin, Pablo & Bover, Olympia, 1997. "Regional Migration in Spain: The Effect of Personal Characteristics and of Unemployment, Wage and House Price Differentials Using Pooled Cross-Sections," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(2), pages 215-35, May.
  34. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Of hype and hyperbolas : introducing the new economic geography," Working Papers 200019, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  35. Daniel A. Tirado & Jordi Pons & Elisenda Paluzie, 2003. "Industrial agglomerations and wage gradients: the Spanish economy in the interwar period (?)," ERSA conference papers ersa03p113, European Regional Science Association.
  36. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  38. Jari Ritsila & Marko Ovaskainen, 2001. "Migration and regional centralization of human capital," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 317-325.
  39. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  40. Nong Zhu & Sandra Poncet, 2003. "Provincial Migration Dynamics in China: Borders, centripetal forces and trade (?)," ERSA conference papers ersa03p148, European Regional Science Association.
  41. Greene, William H, 1981. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 795-98, May.
  42. Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
  43. Matthieu Crozet, 2004. "Do Migrants Follow Market Potentials? An Estimation of a New Economic Geography Model," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00096277, HAL.
  44. Matthieu Crozet & Thierry Mayer & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2004. "How do firms Agglomerate? A Study of FDI in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00268770, HAL.
  45. Tunali, Insan, 2000. "Rationality of Migration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(4), pages 893-920, November.
  46. Cécile Détang-Dessendre & Carine Drapier & Hubert Jayet, 2004. "The Impact of Migration on Wages: Empirical Evidence from French Youth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 661-691.
  47. Roger Axelsson & Olle Westerlund, 1998. "A panel study of migration, self-selection and household real income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 113-126.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p120. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.