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Location characteristics of inner-city neighborhoods and employment accessibility of low-wage workers


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  • Q Shen
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    Studies that examine spatial characteristics of urban unemployment are often based on some simplistic measures of employment accessibility. In this paper a refined methodological framework for measuring accessibility is presented, which enables the researcher (1) to improve the measurement by accounting for job competition among workers commuting by different modes, and (2) to understand the outcome more thoroughly by distinguishing the effect of location from that of workers' auto ownership. This refined framework is applied to a case study of employment accessibility of low-wage workers living in Boston's inner-city neighborhoods, with primarily 1990 Census demographic and journey-to-work data. The empirical results show clearly that, although the central location of inner-city residence still gives the low-wage workers some advantage, auto ownership is the more important determinant. Low-wage workers living in inner-city neighborhoods on average do not have high employment accessibility because a large percentage of them do not own any motor vehicle and hence have limited spatial mobility. Implications of the findings are discussed and qualified in light of the limitation of the research.

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    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 345-365

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    Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:25:y:1998:i:3:p:345-365

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    Cited by:
    1. Ahmed El-Geneidy & David Levinson, 2010. "Place Rank: Valuing Spatial Interactions," Working Papers 000026, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. Dawkins, Casey J. & Shen, Qing & Sanchez, Thomas W., 2005. "Race, space, and unemployment duration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 91-113, July.
    3. Antonio Di Paolo & Anna Matas & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2014. "Job accessibility, employment and job-education mismatch in the metropolitan area of Barcelona," Working Papers XREAP2014-05, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised May 2014.
    4. Mathieu Bunel & Elisabeth Tovar, 2012. "Local Job Accessibility Measurement: When the Model Makes the Results. Methodological Contribution and Empirical Benchmarking on the Paris Region," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201212, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    5. Itzhak Benenson & Karel Martens & Yodan Rofé & Ariela Kwartler, 2011. "Public transport versus private car GIS-based estimation of accessibility applied to the Tel Aviv metropolitan area," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 499-515, December.
    6. David, Martín-Barroso & Juan Andres, Nuñez & Francisco J., Velazquez, 2013. "The efect on firms' Productivity of accessibility. The Spanish manufacturung sector," MPRA Paper 45842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Gautier, Pieter A & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Car Ownership and the Labour Market of Ethnic Minorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 7061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Garrett, Mark & Taylor, Brian D., 2003. "Reconsidering Social Equity in Public Transit," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1gm148mz, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Stefan P.T. Groot & Henri L.F. de Groot & Paolo Veneri, 2012. "The Educational Bias in Commuting Patterns: Micro-Evidence for the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Blumenberg, Evelyn & Moga, Steven & Ong, Paul M., 1998. "Getting Welfare Recipients to Work: Transportation and Welfare Reform, Summary of Conference Proceedings," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt23s208dz, University of California Transportation Center.
    11. Taylor, Brian D & Garrett, Mark, 1999. "Reconsidering Social Equity in Public Transit," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2bm7b38n, University of California Transportation Center.
    12. Martens, Karel & Golub, Aaron & Robinson, Glenn, 2012. "A justice-theoretic approach to the distribution of transportation benefits: Implications for transportation planning practice in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 684-695.
    13. Koopmans, Carl & Groot, Wim & Warffemius, Pim & Annema, Jan Anne & Hoogendoorn-Lanser, Sascha, 2013. "Measuring generalised transport costs as an indicator of accessibility changes over time," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 154-159.


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