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Cities and Workplace Communication: Some Quantitative French Evidence

Sylvie Charlot () and Gilles Duranton ()

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 8, 1365-1394

Abstract: This paper uses a unique labour force survey to document workplace communication patterns in urban, suburban and rural areas. A number of interesting stylised facts are distilled relating to workplace communication: its intensity, within-firm communication, communication external to the firm and the media being used with a special focus on information technologies. The paper also investigates the complementarities across different media of communication and the evolution over time of workplace communication patterns. It is found that cities foster communication external to the firm and the use of telecommunications. By contrast, the hypothesis of a greater prevalence of face-to-face communication in cities does not receive much empirical validation. Also, complementarities across media do not lend much support to popular predictions about the forthcoming demise of cities following the replacement of face-to-face meetings by telecommunications.

Date: 2006
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