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Why Are Low-Skilled Workers Less Mobile? The Role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions

Abstract : Workers' propensity to migrate to another local labor market varies a lot by occupation. We use the model developed by Schmutz and Sidibé (2019) to quantify the impact of mobility costs and search frictions on this mobility gap. We estimate the model on a matched employer-employee panel dataset describing labor market transitions within and between the 30 largest French cities for two groups at both ends of the occupational spectrum and find that: (i) mobility costs are very comparable in the two groups, so they are three times higher for blue-collar workers relative to their respective expected income; (ii) Depending on employment status, spatial frictions are between 2 and 3 times higher for blue-collar workers; (iii) Moving subsidies have little (and possibly negative) impact on the mobility gap, contrary to policies targeting spatial frictions; (iv) Mobility-enhancing policies have almost no impact on the unemployment gap.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03354047
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Submitted on : Friday, September 24, 2021 - 3:40:32 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 12:09:01 AM

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Benoît Schmutz, Modibo Sidibé, Elie Vidal-Naquet. Why Are Low-Skilled Workers Less Mobile? The Role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions. Annals of Economics and Statistics, CNGP-INSEE, 2021, pp.283-304. ⟨10.15609/annaeconstat2009.142.0283⟩. ⟨hal-03354047⟩

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