High-skilled workers´ segregation and productivity in Latin American cities

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December 2016
Paper author(s): 
Nicolás Garrido
Miguel Vargas
Microeconomics - Competition - Productivity

The aim of this work is to study the relationship between high-skilled workers’ segregation and productivity in Latin American cities. This relationship is not clear at first sight. On the one hand high-skilled workers’ spatial concentration would take advantage of agglomeration economies and cause positive spillovers amongst the most advantaged that could compensate productivity losses due the existence of low-skilled workers ghettos. On the other hand, it would be the case that those spillovers are not enough for compensating the worse-off groups’ productivity losses, and hence the aggregated productivity would be negatively affected. We calculate this group segregation for a group of Latin American countries’ most important cities. We found a negative and significant relationship amongst cities’ productivity and high-skilled workers segregation. However, we found evidence of a quadratic relationship between segregation and productivity as well.


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