Productivity, Place, and Plants
Review of Economics and Statistics,
Why do cities differ so much in productivity? A long literature has sought out systematic sources, such as inherent productivity advantages, market access, agglomeration forces, or sorting. We document that up to three quarters of the measured regional productivity dispersion is spurious, reflecting the “luck of the draw” of finite counts of idiosyncratically heterogeneous plants that happen to operate in a given location. The patterns are even more pronounced for new plants, hold for alternative productivity measures, and broadly extend to European countries. This large role for individual plants suggests a smaller role for places in driving regional differences.
Stadtfrust und Landlust? Über regionale Präferenzen von hochqualifizierten Individuen
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die Verfügbarkeit von qualifizierten Arbeitskräften ist eine zentrale Voraussetzung für den Erfolg eines Unternehmens. Eine städtische Lohnprämie zieht Beschäftigte an und verstärkt den Urbanisierungstrend. In unserer Studie untersuchen wir, ob nicht nur die Lohnprämie, sondern auch der Unternehmensstandort selbst die Attraktivität eines Arbeitsplatzes beeinflusst. Mittels eines experimentellen Untersuchungsdesigns zeigen wir, dass hochqualifizierte Arbeitnehmer unabhängig vom gezahlten Lohn eine Präferenz für städtische Standorte haben, selbst wenn ländliche Standorte attraktive regionale Eigenschaften aufweisen. Der beobachtete Effekt ist allerdings getrieben von Personen, die in städtischen Gebieten aufgewachsen sind. Personen, die in ländlichen Gebieten aufgewachsen sind, zeigen dagegen keine regionalen Präferenzen, weder für noch gegen städtische Gebiete.
Where to Go? High-skilled Individuals’ Regional Preferences
IWH Discussion Papers,
We conduct a discrete choice experiment to investigate how the location of a firm in a rural or urban region affects job attractiveness and contributes to the spatial sorting of university students and graduates. We characterize the attractiveness of a location based on several dimensions (social life, public infrastructure, connectivity) and combine this information with an urban or rural attribution. We also vary job design as well as contractual characteristics of the job. We find that job offers from companies in rural areas are generally considered less attractive. This is true regardless of the attractiveness of the region. The negative perception is particularly pronounced among persons with urban origin and singles. These persons rate job offers from rural regions significantly worse. In contrast, high-skilled individuals who originate from rural areas as well as individuals with partners and kids have no specific preference for jobs in urban or rural areas.
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Explaining Regional Disparities in Housing Prices Across German Districts
IWH Discussion Papers,
Over the last decade, German housing prices have increased unprecedentedly. Drawing on quality-adjusted housing price data at the district level, we document large and increasing regional disparities: Growth rates were higher in 1) the largest seven cities, 2) districts located in the south, and 3) districts with higher initial price levels. Indications of price bubbles are concentrated in the largest cities and in the purchasing market. Prices seem to be driven by the demand side: Increasing population density, higher shares of academically educated employees and increasing purchasing power explain our findings, while supply remained relatively constrained in the short term.
The Urban Wage Premium in Imperfect Labor Markets
Journal of Human Resources,
Using administrative data for West Germany, this paper investigates whether part of the urban wage premium stems from greater competition in denser labor markets. We show that employers possess less wage-setting power in denser markets. We further document that an important part of the observed urban wage premia can be explained by greater competition in denser labor markets.
Spillover Effects in Empirical Corporate Finance
Journal of Financial Economics,
Despite their importance, the discussion of spillover effects in empirical research often misses the rigor dedicated to endogeneity concerns. We analyze a broad set of workhorse models of firm interactions and show that spillovers naturally arise in many corporate finance settings. This has important implications for the estimation of treatment effects: i) even with random treatment, spillovers lead to a complicated bias, ii) fixed effects can exacerbate the spillover-induced bias. We propose simple diagnostic tools for empirical researchers and illustrate our guidance in an application.
Do Diasporas Affect Regional Knowledge Transfer within Host Countries? A Panel Analysis of German R&D Collaborations
Interactive regional learning involving various actors is considered a precondition for successful innovations and, hence, for regional development. Diasporas as non-native ethnic groups are regarded as beneficial since they enrich the creative class by broadening the cultural base and introducing new routines. Using data on research and development (R&D) collaboration projects, the analysis provides tentative evidence that the size of diasporas positively affects the region’s share of outward R&D linkages enabling the exchange of knowledge. The empirical analysis further confirms that these interactions mainly occur between regions hosting the same diasporas, pointing to a positive effect of ethnic proximity rather than ethnic diversity.