Are Rural Firms Left Behind? Firm Location and Perceived Job Attractiveness of High-skilled Workers

We conduct a discrete choice experiment to investigate how the location of a firm in a rural or urban region affects the perceived job attractiveness for university students and graduates and, therewith, contributes to the rural–urban divide. We characterize the attractiveness of a location based on several dimensions (social life, public infrastructure and connectivity) and vary job design and contractual characteristics of the job. We find that job offers from companies in rural areas are generally considered less attractive, regardless of the attractiveness of the region. The negative perception is particularly pronounced among persons of urban origin and singles. In contrast, for individuals with partners and kids this preference is less pronounced. High-skilled individuals who originate from rural areas have no specific regional preference at all.

01. March 2024

Authors Matthias Brachert Sabrina Jeworrek

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