Spatial Mismatch or Racial Mismatch?

48 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2007

See all articles by Judith K. Hellerstein

Judith K. Hellerstein

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Neumark

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Melissa McInerney

U.S. Bureau of the Census - Center for Economic Studies; University of Maryland

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

We contrast the spatial mismatch hypothesis with what we term the racial mismatchhypothesis - that the problem is not a lack of jobs, per se, where blacks live, but a lack of jobsinto which blacks are hired, whether because of discrimination or labor market networks inwhich race matters. We first report new evidence on the spatial mismatch hypothesis, using data from Census Long-Form respondents. We construct direct measures of the presence of jobs in detailed geographic areas, and find that these job density measures are related to employment of black male residents in ways that would be predicted by the spatial mismatch hypothesis - in particular that spatial mismatch is primarily an issue for low-skilled black male workers. We then look at racial mismatch, by estimating the effects of job density measures that are disaggregated by race. We find that it is primarily black job density that influences black male employment, where as white job density has little if any influence on their employment. This evidence implies that space alone plays a relatively minor role in low black male employment rates.

Suggested Citation

Hellerstein, Judith K. and Neumark, David and McInerney, Melissa, Spatial Mismatch or Racial Mismatch? (June 2007). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-07-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1015624

Judith K. Hellerstein (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3545 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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David Neumark

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

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Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
949-824-8496 (Phone)
949-824-2182 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~dneumark/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Melissa McInerney

U.S. Bureau of the Census - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4700 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

University of Maryland

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

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