DP8920 Sorting and local wage and skill distributions in France

Author(s): Pierre-Philippe Combes, Gilles Duranton, Laurent Gobillon, S├ębastien Roux
Publication Date: March 2012
Keyword(s): skill distribution, sorting, wage distribution
JEL(s): J31, J61, R12, R23
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8920

This paper provides descriptive evidence about the distribution of wages and skills in denser and less dense employment areas in France. We confirm that on average, workers in denser areas are more skilled. There is also strong overrepresentation of workers with particularly high and low skills in denser areas. These features are consistent with patterns of migration including negative selection of migrants to less dense areas and positive selection towards denser areas. Nonetheless migration, even in the longrun, accounts for little of the skill differences between denser and less dense areas. Finally, we find marked differences across age groups and some suggestions that much of the skill differences across areas can be explained by differences between occupational groups rather than within.