Cities, matching and the productivity gains of agglomeration

Fredrik Andersson, Simon Burgess, Julia I. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The striking geographical concentration of economic activities suggests that there are substantial benefits to agglomeration. However, the nature of those benefits remains unclear. In this paper we take advantage of a new data set to quantify the role of one of the main contenders-the matching of workers and jobs. We show that thicker urban labor markets are associated with more assortative matching in terms of worker and firm quality. When we estimate establishment-level production functions we also find evidence of complementarities between worker and firm quality. Putting together the production and matching relationships, we show that production complementarity and assortative matching is an important source of the urban productivity premium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-128
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Agglomeration
  • Matching
  • Urban productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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