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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spatial Mismatch Outside of Large Urban Areas: An Analysis of Welfare Recipients in Fresno County, California

  • Author(s): Blumenberg, Evelyn A.
  • Shiki, Kimiko
  • et al.

Numerous scholars assert that welfare recipients face a mismatch between their residential locations in inner-city or rural areas where they live far from employment opportunities located in the suburbs. However, the findings of this study bring into question the wholesale application of the spatial mismatch hypothesis to all welfare recipients. Welfare recipients in mid-sized cities such as Fresno, California, do not face spatial barriers to employment since they live in compact areas where distance between residential and employment locations are relatively short. In contrast, job access is important in the non-urbanized areas of Fresno County where welfare recipients who live in job-rich neighborhoods are more likely to be employed than recipients who are dispersed throughout more isolated, non-urbanized areas.

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