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Job Accessibility and Racial Differences in Youth Employment Rates. Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, David L. Sjoquist The American Economic Review Volume 80, Issue 1 (Mar.,1990), 267-276. By MDM.
Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, David L. Sjoquist
The American Economic Review
Volume 80, Issue 1 (Mar.,1990), 267-276.
The origins of this hypothesis can be traced back to John Kain (1968) who argued that housing segregation reduces the employment opportunities of all blacks.
He, therefore, concluded that the problem isn’t space related but race relate.
The same conclusion was also reached by Jonathan Leonard (1986a), who conducted a study similar to Ellwood’s using data for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
His results suggested that young workers are sufficiently “fluid” in their commuting patterns to overcome any problems arising from an absence of nearby jobs.
Measurement error likely also affects this variable since the overwhelming majority of youth do not work in blue-collar jobs and the population of the commuting zone may poorly represent the number of workers competing for jobs typically held by youth.
Leonard’s own measure of job access was the number of blue-collar jobs within a 15-minute commute of each census tract divided by the population 16 years of age and older of the commuting zone.
They chose Philly because Philly has a large number of blacks living in the suburbs and this is useful in giving them a reliable estimate.
Ihlanfeldt and Sjoquist also used a richer set of control variables and the estimation of separate equations for black and white youth broken down by age and enrollment status, and for different metropolitan areas. Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
- Most frequently used methods of job search are checking with friends, relatives and direct applications without referrals.Information on available job opportunities may decline rapidly with distance from home
To control for other factors that might effect the probability of employment, they selected individual and family background variables that have been found to be important in prior studies of youth employment.
Separate equations for white and black youth were estimated for the following four groups:
(1) 16-19, home, school
(2) 16-19, home, not in school
(3) 20-24, home, not enrolled and less than a college education
(4) 20-24, not home, not enrolled, not in the military, less than a college education
Black youth have definitely worse access to employment opportunities
3. A portion of the difference in black and white employment rates can therefore be attributed to differential job access
Variation in times was as large in CHI as in PHI. This suggests that in CHI, poor job access is more easily overcome by white youth in comparison to black youth.
This paper showed evidence supporting the validity of the job access hypothesis.
The nearness of jobs was found to have a strong effect on the job probability of both white and black youth living in PHI and differential job access was found to explain a large portion of the racial difference in youth employment rates.