Thanks to Jonathan Dingel from Columbia University for leading this week’s brown bag discussion on the comparative advantage of cities.
Dingel’s research (with Donald Davis) examines the idea that more skilled individuals are willing to pay more to live near the amenities associated with big city life, and that, compared to smaller cities, bigger cities have larger numbers of high-skilled workers relative to lower-skilled workers. Dingel predicts that these two factors impact a city’s industrial composition and that a city’s comparative advantage is due jointly to individuals’ comparative advantage and locational choices.
Using data on skills, sectors, and cities, the model predicts that cities are neither completely specialized nor completely diversified. This model also allows for the extrapolation of a city’s industrial composition of a city based on its size.
You can find a copy of his presentation here and of the working paper here.
Tile image by: Seldom Scene Photography
Ph.D Candidate, Department of Economics, Columbia University
Jonathan Dingel is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Economics at Columbia University. His latest working paper is "A Spatial Knowledge Economy" and he is currently working on a paper about the comparative advantage of cities. You can read more here.