Cities, Tasks and Skills

50 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2014

See all articles by Suzanne Kok

Suzanne Kok

University of Groningen; CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis

Bas ter Weel

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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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.

Keywords: occupations, tasks, cities, employment

JEL Classification: J20, J30, O30

Suggested Citation

Kok, Suzanne and ter Weel, Bas, Cities, Tasks and Skills. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8053. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2417606

Suzanne Kok (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

CPB Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis ( email )

P.O. Box 80510
2508 GM The Hague, 2585 JR
Netherlands

Bas Ter Weel

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research ( email )

Roetersstraat 29
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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