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The Geography of Job Creation and Job Destruction

Institute Working Paper 85 | Published February 29, 2024

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Moritz Kuhn University of Mannheim
Iourii Manovskii University of Pennsylvania
Xincheng Qiu University of Pennsylvania
The Geography of Job Creation and Job Destruction


Spatial differences in labor market performance are large and highly persistent. Using data from the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, we document striking similarities across these countries in the spatial differences in unemployment, vacancies, and job filling, finding, and separation rates. The novel facts on the geography of vacancies and job filling are instrumental in guiding and disciplining the development of a theory of local labor market performance. We find that a spatial version of a Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model with endogenous separations and on-the-job search quantitatively accounts for all the documented empirical regularities. The model also quantitatively rationalizes why differences in job-separation rates have primary importance in inducing differences in unemployment across space while changes in the job-finding rate are the main driver in unemployment fluctuations over the business cycle.