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PhD ceremony Ms. S.J. Kok: Tasks, jobs and cities

When:Th 31-10-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. S.J. Kok, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Tasks, jobs and cities

Promotor(s): prof. J.H. Garretsen, prof. B. ter Weel, prof. S. Brakman

Faculty: Economics

Cities continue to play a key role in today’s worldwide production processes. Progress in information and communication technology enabled breaking up production chains and the relocation of separate production tasks across the world. Each task can be produced at the most efficient location. Expensive cities prosper as location of production. This thesis describes the interactions between tasks, jobs and cities to create better understanding of the role of cities in current production processes.

Successful cities of yesterday contained industries that benefited from co-agglomeration. This thesis shows that successful cities of today perform job tasks that benefit from co-agglomeration. Applying a task approach furthermore helps defining the content of jobs in cities. We empirically demonstrate that jobs in large cities contain different task packages and require different skills than the same jobs in small cities. Larger labour markets contain more specialised jobs with more cognitive requirements. Also the quality of the match between workers and their job tasks improves with the density of the labour market. Lastly, this thesis shows that communication is a key advantage of cities but that its value varies across city types.

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