Ines Helm

Ines’ research is in the area of labour economics, with a particular interest in topics at the intersection of labour and urban economics. Her thesis focusses on two broad topics: the economics of local labour markets and the economics of job displacement. In her job market paper, she analyses whether national industry shocks that affect local industry labour demand can have indirect effects on employment in other geographically close industries because of the existence of productive or cost benefits from co-locating (agglomeration economies). In a second paper in that area of research, Ines analyses how mass layoffs affect local labour markets.

Primary Research Fields:

  • Applied Economics
  • Labour Economics

Secondary Research Fields:

  • Urban Economics
  • Public Economics

"National Industry Trade Shocks, Local Labor Markets and Agglomeration Spillovers"


Why is economic activity spatially concentrated? One explanation for this phenomenon is the existence of agglomeration economies, whereby firms benefit from productivity or cost advantages when they locate near other firms. In this paper, I provide a novel approach to estimate agglomeration effects using a broad set of national industry shocks. For identification I exploit trade shocks to industries in Germany stemming from trade integration of Eastern Europe and China. These shocks differentially disseminate across regions and industries because of differences in local industry structure. Workers in the same industry but in different regions might hence be differentially affected by indirect exposure to the other local industries' trade shocks. I first provide a simple model of agglomeration economies and show that in this setting trade shocks can affect other local industries' labor demand. I then estimate local industry spillovers from trade shocks accounting for the own industry trade shock and national indirect product demand shocks by exploiting within industry variation in indirect trade exposure across local labor markets. I find considerable employment spillovers from other tradable industries’ net trade shocks and even stronger effects within the same broad sector. Furthermore, I find that predominantly shocks to high technology industries generate spillovers. This indicates that place based policies are likely to be more successful when aiming to attract high technology firms.

  • Prof Uta Schoenberg (University College London)
  • Prof Christian Dustmann (University College London)
  • Prof Eric French (University College London)
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