Cities, Tasks, and Skills

37 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 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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Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

This research applies a task‐based approach to measure and interpret changes in the employment structure of the 168 largest U.S. 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, routinization, and the complementarity between skills and cities.

Suggested Citation

Kok, Suzanne and ter Weel, Bas, Cities, Tasks, and Skills (November 2014). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 54, Issue 5, pp. 856-892, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jors.12125

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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