The Relationship Between Urban Spatial Structure And Labor Market Outcomes

1501 Words Apr 25th, 2016 null Page
For the past decades, urban economists, geographers, and social scientists have raised a question about how location and access to employment opportunities affect labor market outcomes such as occupational status, income, and labor force participation. This subject that geographical factors are important in labor market success is based on the spatial mismatch hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, poor spatial accessibility to employment results in a higher level of unemployment, particularly for African-Americans. Kain (1968) argued that African-Americans face a spatial mismatch of jobs and housing because they are trapped in inner-city neighborhoods by racial residential segregation while jobs are relocated to the suburbs. Since Kain’s (1968) spatial mismatch hypothesis, the relationship between urban spatial structure and labor market outcomes has been debated among many scholars.

Over the past several decades, scholars have investigated the impact of geographical access to job opportunities on labor market outcomes, especially among African-Americans. However, there is no consensus in the literature on the effect. Some scholars have argued that good accessibility to employment opportunities reduces the probability of unemployment (Sanchez, 1999; Ong and Houston, 2002; Kawabata, 2003), while others have argued that race or gender is a greater predictor of unemployment than accessibility and spatial issues (Holzer, 1991; Ihlandfeld and Sjoquist, 1998; Wachs and…

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