Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #631

Wage Growth, Urbanization, and Firm Characteristics - Evidence for Germany

by Markus Kelle

UDE, 08/2016, 31 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-733-5 DOI: 10.4419/86788733



I use German administrative data for 2001-2010 to analyse the impact of urbanization and firm characteristics on wage growth of workers. I find a statistically highly significant higher within-job wage growth rate for workers in counties with a higher population density. This provides evidence that workers’ productivity growth is higher in denser regions, which could be explained by faster learning or human capital accumulation of workers. However, this effect turns insignificant once I account for the number of employees of the workers’ firms, the share of highly educated workers in the firm and wagelevel firm fixed effects. This indicates that such a learning effect may occur rather within firms than between workers in a region. Beyond this, the paper presents evidence that workers in denser areas also benefit more from job changes within counties. One reason for that is that workers in denser regions match more often with high-wage firms. Furthermore, I find evidence that also the efficiency of the worker-firm matches is higher in denser areas.

JEL-Classification: R11, R23, J24

Keywords: Wage growth; learning; urbanization; firm characteristics