Lecture: Skill diversity and the evolution of formal employment in cities


What drives formal urban employment in a developing economy with informality?

In this lecture Eduardo Lora investigates a model that combines two sources of urban agglomeration economies: complementarities at the firm level between workers with diverse skills, and improved chances of matching between firms and workers in larger cities. Workers are gradually absorbed from outside the formal sector as new industries appear via an evolutionary process of skill recombination at the firm level. The model predicts: faster firm entry in less complex sectors; higher wages in more complex sectors; formal employment layers of increasing complexity; faster formal employment growth in cities with abundance of the diverse skills needed in complex sectors; and higher formal occupation rates in larger cities. 

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

Eduardo Lora is an associate at Harvard’s Center for International Development. He has been Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank (2008-2012) and Executive Director of Fedesarrollo, Colombia (1991-1996). He has also been Vice-President and President of the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic Associations (LACEA).

Oxford Department of International Development,3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB
Date range
04 November 2019 - 04 November 2019
17:00 - 19:00
Sustainable Growth
image of impact

Planning for impact in international development research projects

Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BD
05 November 2019 - 05 November 2019
14:00 - 17:30

How do we create meaningful and relevant impact in international research projects funded by Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)? How is ODA-related research impact different to that measured in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF)? Where can we find examples of best practice?


PEAK Urban annual retreat in Medellín

03 - 07 February 2020
09:00 - 17:00

The second annual PEAK Urban retreat will be held in Medellín, Colombia. Watch this space for more information.