Productivity in cities: self-selection and sorting

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Abstract

Productivity is high in cities partly because the urban environment acts as a self-selection mechanism. If workers have imperfect information about the quality of workers with whom they match and matches take place within cities, then high-ability workers will choose to live and work in expensive cities. This self-selection improves the quality of matches in such cities. The mechanism may be reinforced by the development of informational networks in cities with a large proportion of high-ability workers. As a consequence productivity in these cities is high for workers of all ability types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • City
  • Economic geography
  • Productivity
  • Self-selection
  • Sorting
  • Urban

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