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Open Access Publications from the University of California

How Welfare Recipients Travel on Public Transit, and Their Accessibility to Employment Outside Large Urban Centers


Transportation Programs aiming at moving welfare participants into paid work have been based largely on studies showing a spatial mismatch between the concentration of welfare participants in central cities and rapidly expanding jobs in suburbs. Most spatial mismatch research, however, has been conducted in very large metropolitan areas. This paper examines the relevance of the spatial mismatch hypothesis to welfare to welfare recipients living in medium-sized cities and rural areas. Our findings suggest that the spatial mismatch hypothesis and policies based upon it may not be relevant to welfare recipients living in areas in which the urban structure does not fit the simple model of poor, central-city neighborhoods and distant, job-rich suburbs.

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