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Author:Eckert, Fabian 

Working Paper
Skilled Tradable Services: The Transformation of U.S. High-Skill Labor Markets

We study a group of service industries that are skill-intensive, widely traded, and have recently seen explosive wage growth. Between 1980 and 2015, these ?Skilled Tradable Services? accounted for a sharply increasing share of employment among the highest earning Americans. Unlike any other sector, their wage growth was strongly biased toward the densest local labor markets and the highest paying firms. These services alone explain 30% of the increase in inequality between the 50th and 90th percentiles of the wage distribution. We offer an explanation for these patterns that highlights the ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 25

Working Paper
Spatial Structural Change

Between 1880 and 1920, the US agricultural employment share fell from 50% to 25%. However, despite aggregate demand shifting away from their sector of specialization, rural labor markets saw faster wage growth and industrialization than non-agricultural parts of the US. We propose a spatial model of the structural transformation to analyze the link between aggregate structural change and local economic development. The calibrated model shows that rural areas adapted to the decline of the agricultural sector by adopting technologies already in use in urban locations. Without such catchup ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 063

Working Paper
The Return to Big City Experience: Evidence from Danish Refugees

We offer causal evidence of higher returns to experience in big cities. Exploiting a natural experiment that settled political refugees across labor markets in Denmark between 1986 and 1998, we find that while refugees initially earn similar wages across locations, those placed in Copenhagen exhibit 35% faster wage growth with each additional year of experience. This gap is driven primarily by differential sorting towards high-wage establishments, occupations, and industries. An estimated spatial model of earnings dynamics attributes an important role to unobserved worker ability: more able ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 24

Working Paper
Saving the American Dream? Education Policies in Spatial General Equilibrium

Children's education and economic opportunities differ substantially across US neighborhoods. This paper develops and estimates a spatial equilibrium model that links children's education outcomes to their childhood location. Two endogenous factors determine education choices in each location: local education quality and local labor market access. We estimate the model with US county-level data and study the effects of a school funding equalization on education outcomes and social mobility. The reform's direct effects improve education outcomes among children from low-skill families. However, ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 47

Working Paper
The City Paradox: Skilled Services and Remote Work

Large cities in the US are the most expensive places to live. Paradoxically, this cost is paid disproportionately by workers who could work remotely, and live anywhere. The greater potential for remote work in large cities is mostly accounted for by their specialization in skill- and information-intensive service industries. We highlight that this specialization makes these cities vulnerable to remote work shocks. When high-skill workers begin to work from home or leave the city altogether, they withdraw spending from local consumer service industries that rely heavily on their demand. As a ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 43

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