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The Network of Neighborhoods and Geographic Space: Implications for Joblessness While on Parole


Objectives: Few studies have examined the consequences of neighborhoods for job prospects for people on parole. Specifically, networks between neighborhoods in where people commute to work and their spatial distributions may provide insight into patterns of joblessness because they represent the economic structure between neighborhoods. We argue that the network of neighborhoods provides insight into the competition people on parole face in the labor market, their spatial mismatch from jobs, as well as their structural support. Methods: We use data from people on parole released in Texas from 2006 to 2010 and create a network between all census tracts in Texas based on commuting ties from home to work. We estimate a series of multilevel models examining how network structures are related to joblessness. Results: The findings indicate that the structural position of neighborhoods has consequences for people on parole’s joblessness. Higher outdegree, reflecting neighborhoods with more outgoing ties to other neighborhoods, was consistently associated with less joblessness, while higher indegree, reflecting neighborhoods with more incoming ties into the neighborhood, was associated with more joblessness, particularly for Black and Latino people on parole. There was also some evidence of differences depending on geographic scale. Conclusions: Structural neighborhood-to-neighborhood networks are another component to understanding joblessness while people are on parole. The most consistent support was shown for the competition and structural support mechanisms, rather than spatial mismatch.

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