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Human capital sorting: The "when" and "who" of the sorting of educated workers to urban regions
Lund Univ, CIRCLE, Lund, Sweden.;Lund Univ, Dept Econ, Lund, Sweden..
Lund Univ, CIRCLE, Lund, Sweden.;Lund Univ, Dept Econ, Lund, Sweden.;Blekinge Inst Technol BTH, Dept Ind Econ, SE-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden.;Res Inst Ind Econ IFN, Stockholm, Sweden.;Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm, Sweden..
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.). Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8377-1633
2018 (English)In: Journal of regional science, ISSN 0022-4146, E-ISSN 1467-9787, Vol. 58, no 3, p. 581-610Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The sorting of high-ability workers is often advanced as one source of spatial disparities in economic outcomes. There are still few papers that analyze when human capital sorting occurs and whom it involves. Using data on 16 cohorts of university graduates in Sweden, we demonstrate significant sorting to urban regions on high school grades and education levels of parents, i.e., two attributes typically associated with latent abilities that are valued in the labor market. A large part of this sorting has already occurred in deciding where to study, because the top universities in Sweden are predominantly located in urban regions. The largest part of directed sorting on ability indicators occurs in the decision of where to study. Even after controlling for sorting prior to labor market entry, the best and brightest are still more likely to start working in urban regions. However, this effect appears to be driven by Sweden's main metropolitan region, Stockholm. We find no influence of our ability indicators on the probability of starting to work in urban regions after graduation when Stockholm is excluded. Studies of human capital sorting need to account for selection processes to and from universities, because neglecting mobility prior to labor market entry is likely to lead to an underestimation of the extent of the sorting to urban regions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2018. Vol. 58, no 3, p. 581-610
Keywords [en]
ability, geography of talent, human capital, labor mobility, migration, spatial selection, spatial sorting, university graduates
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-231208DOI: 10.1111/jors.12366ISI: 000434277600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048331478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-231208DiVA, id: diva2:1228994
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-80Swedish Research Council, 349200680VINNOVA, 2010-07370
Note

QC 20180629

Available from: 2018-06-29 Created: 2018-06-29 Last updated: 2018-06-29Bibliographically approved

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