Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics
Institutional Affiliation: Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2018||Matching in Cities|
with Wolfgang Dauth, Sebastian Findeisen, Enrico Moretti: w25227
In most countries, average wages tend to be higher in larger cities. In this paper, we focus on the role played by the matching of workers to firms in explaining geographical wage differences. Using rich administrative German data for 1985-2014, we show that wages in large cities are higher not only because large cities attract more high-quality workers, but also because high-quality workers are significantly more likely to be matched to high-quality plants. In particular, we find that assortative matching—measured by the correlation of worker fixed effects and plant fixed effects—is significantly stronger in large cities. The elasticity of assortative matching with respect to population has increased by around 75% in the last 30 years. We estimate that in a hypothetical scenario in wh...