Jorge De la Roca
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Jorge De la Roca is a Research Fellow at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. His fields of interest include urban economics, economic geography and labor economics, with a particular focus on the study of agglomeration economies and urban migration. At the Furman Center he is working in the areas of neighborhood change and land use regulation and studying recent trends in racial segregation in US cities. He completed his BA in Economics at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, and his MPhil and PhD in Economics at CEMFI. Before joining the Furman Center, Jorge worked as a research assistant at the Center for International Development CID at Harvard University, the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI in Washington, DC and the Group for the Analysis of Development GRADE in Lima, Perú.
Individual earnings are higher in bigger cities. We consider three reasons: spatial sorting of initially more productive workers, static advantages associated with workers' current location, and learning by working in big cities. Using rich administrative data for Spain, we find that workers in bigger cities do not have higher unobserved initial ability, as reflected in individual fixed-effects. Instead, they obtain an immediate static premium while working in bigger cities and also accumulate more valuable experience, which increases their earnings faster. The additional value of experience accumulated in bigger cities persists even after workers move away and is even stronger for those with higher unobserved initial ability. This combination of effects explains both the higher mean and the greater dispersion of earnings in bigger cities.
De la Roca, Jorge, Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine M. O'Regan. 2013. Race and neighborhoods in the 21st century: What does segregation mean today? Regional Science and Urban Economics (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2013.09.006
Noting the decline in segregation between blacks and whites over the past several decades, some recent work argues that racial segregation is no longer a concern in the 21st century. In response, this paper revisits some of the concerns that John Quigley raised about racial segregation and neighborhoods to assess their relevance today. We note that while segregation levels between blacks and whites have certainly declined, they remain quite high; Hispanic and Asian segregation have meanwhile remained unchanged. Further, our analysis shows that the neighborhood environments of minorities continue to be highly unequal to those enjoyed by whites. Blacks and Hispanics continue to live among more disadvantaged neighbors, to have access to lower performing schools, and to be exposed to more violent crime. Further, these differences are amplified in more segregated metropolitan areas.