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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 ...
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, ...