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Job Sprawl, Spatial Mismatch and Black Employment Disadvantage

  • Author(s): Stoll, Michael A.
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between job sprawl and the spatial mismatch between blacks and jobs. Using data from a variety of sources including the U.S. Census and U.S. Department of Commerce’s ZIP Code Business Patterns, I control extensively for metropolitan area characteristics and other factors. In addition, I use metropolitan area physical geography characteristics as instruments for job sprawl to address the problem of simultaneity bias. I find a significant and positive effect of job sprawl on mismatch conditions faced by blacks that remains evident across a variety of model specifications. This effect is particularly important in the Midwest and West, and in metropolitan areas where blacks’ share of the population is not large and where blacks’ population growth rate is relatively low. Among others, the results also reveal that the measure of mismatch used in this analysis is highly correlated across metropolitan areas with blacks’ employment outcomes in the expected direction.

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