Essays on urbanization and population scale effects
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The theme that unifies the essays in this dissertation is the focus on population scale effects; specifically, I investigate the relationship between population scale and economic outcomes like quality of life, probability of job switching, and skill composition. By using a calibrated Rosen-Roback model, I find that cities tend to become more attractive with higher population size. The urban quality of life premium is believed to flow through a higher quantity and variety of amenities, thick market effects, and other benefits from being around people. There seem to be only moderate differences between education groups in evaluation of local amenities. The education groups agree on whether a particular amenity is an urban amenity or an urban disamenity. Consequently, the fact that highly educated people relocate to cities seems not to be explained by the consumption advantages of cities. Urban workers have a higher likelihood of switching jobs, both simple changes across firms and complex changes across sectors and occupations. This relationship is stronger for those with higher educational attainment, and this group seems to be the driver of complex job switching. An explanation might be that educated people have general skills that are more transferable.