DP6197 Search in Cities

Author(s): Yves Zenou
Publication Date: March 2007
Keyword(s): job search, search intensity, spatial mismatch, urban land use
JEL(s): D83, J15, J41, R14
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6197

We develop different spatial search models in which a land market is embedded into a standard search matching framework. The link between the land and the labour market is realized through the average search intensity of unemployed workers. We first develop a simple model where search intensity is exogenous. Because of this assumption, only one urban pattern emerges in which the employed reside close to jobs and the unemployed at the periphery of the city. We then extend this benchmark model by assuming that workers' search intensity negatively depends on their residential distance to jobs. This leads to two urban-land use patterns where the unemployed workers either reside close to or far away from jobs. Finally, we consider the case where the unemployed workers endogenously choose their search intensity and we show that they search less, the further away they reside from jobs. Apart from the two previous urban patterns, there is a third equilibrium that emerges, which has a core-periphery structure. In each model, we explore the labour market outcomes (job creation, unemployment and wages) of the different urban land use patterns.