The Complementarity between Cities and Skills

24 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2010  

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew Resseger

Harvard University - Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2009-05

Abstract

There is a strong connection between per-worker productivity and metropolitan area population, which is commonly interpreted as evidence for the existence of agglomeration economies. This correlation is particularly strong in cities with higher levels of skill and virtually nonexistent in less skilled metropolitan areas. This fact is particularly compatible with the view that urban density is important because proximity spreads knowledge, which either makes workers more skilled or entrepreneurs more productive. Bigger cities certainly attract more skilled workers, and there is some evidence suggesting that human capital accumulates more quickly in urban areas.

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. and Resseger, Matthew, The Complementarity between Cities and Skills (2009-05). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 50, Issue 1, pp. 221-244, February 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1547354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9787.2009.00635.x

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Matthew Resseger

Harvard University - Faculty of Arts and Sciences ( email )

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