This paper examines the micro-foundations of occupational agglomeration in U.S. metropolitan areas, with an emphasis on labor market pooling. Controlling for a wide range of occupational attributes, including proxies for the use of specialized machinery and for the importance of knowledge spillovers, we find that jobs characterized by a unique knowledge base exhibit higher levels of geographic concentration than do occupations with generic knowledge requirements. Further, by analyzing co-agglomeration patterns, we find that occupations with similar knowledge requirements tend to co-agglomerate. Both results provide new evidence on the importance of labor market pooling as a determinant of occupational agglomeration.
For a published version of this report, see Todd M. Gabe and Jaison R. Abel, "Specialized Knowledge and the Geographic Concentration of Occupations," Journal of Economic Geography 12, no. 2 (March 2012): 435-53.