The Employment Advantages of Skilled Urban Areas

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Diaz Escobar, Ana Maria (2011)
  • Subject: Local labor markets | Human capital externalities | Signaling | Production complementarities | local labor markets, employment, human capital externalities, production complementarities, consumer demand spillovers, signaling, congestion | Employment | Consumer demand spillovers | Congestion
    • jel: jel:R23 | jel:J24 | jel:J21

This paper explores whether the agglomeration of human capital leads to social employment advantages in urban labor markets of a developing country: Colombia. I estimate the social effects of human capital agglomeration by comparing employment opportunities of individuals located in urban areas in which the level of education differs. Results show that employment opportunities are higher on average in skilled urban areas. Three explanations have been offered: human capital externalities, production complementarities, and consumption spillovers. To distinguish between them, I analyze the effect of an increase on the college share on the employment rate for different education groups. Spatial employment differences in Colombia are mostly explained by human capital externalities and production complementarities.
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