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Black Applicants, Black Employees, and Urban Labor Market Policy

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  • Harry J. Holzer

Abstract

In this paper, I use data from a new survey of employers in four large metropolitan areas to analyze the flow of black applicants to different kinds of employers and the extent to which these applicants are hired. The results show that less-educated black workers apply less frequently for jobs in the suburbs than in central cities, especially at smaller establishments. Their lower tendency to apply for suburban jobs is mostly accounted for by the higher costs to central-city black residents of applying there, and by lower information flows as well. Black applicants, especially less-educated black males, are also less likely to be hired at suburban establishments, particularly where they must deal with white customers. These results suggest the need for policies to reduce the costs of applying for suburban jobs and to improve the flow of information about suburban employment prospects to less-educated blacks, and perhaps a need to complement such policies with more effective enforcement of antidiscrimination laws in small suburban establishments.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1162-98.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1162-98

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  1. Harry J. Holzer & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1996. "Spatial factors and the employment of blacks at the firm level," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 65-86.
  2. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1993. "Bilateral Search as an Explanation for Labor Market Segmentation and Other Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 4461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R., 1997. "Information on the Spatial Distribution of Job Opportunities within Metropolitan Areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 218-242, March.
  4. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Raphael, Steven & Stoll, Michael A. & Holzer, Harry J., 2000. "Are Suburban Firms More Likely to Discriminate against African-Americans?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 485-508, November.
  8. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  9. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
  10. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 1993. "Industrial Shifts, Skills Levels, and the Labor Market for White and Black Males," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 387-96, August.
  11. William J. Carrington & Kristin McCue & Brooks Pierce, 2000. "Using Establishment Size to Measure the Impact of Title VII and Affirmative Action," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 503-523.
  12. Kenneth R Troske & William J Carrington, 1996. "Interfirm Segregation and the Black/White Wage Gap," Working Papers 96-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Kenney, Genevieve M & Wissoker, Douglas A, 1994. "An Analysis of the Correlates of Discrimination Facing Young Hispanic Job-Seekers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 674-83, June.
  14. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-52, June.
  15. Holzer Harry J. & Ihlanfeldt Keith R. & Sjoquist David L., 1994. "Work, Search, and Travel among White and Black Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 320-345, May.
  16. Hirsch, B.T. & Macpherson, D.A., 1994. "Wages, Racial Composition, and Quality Sorting in Labor Markets," Working Papers, Department of Economics, Florida State University 1994_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  17. Daniel Immergluck, 1996. "What employers want: Job prospects for less-educated workers," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 135-143, June.
  18. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1990. "The Impact of Affirmative Action Regulation and Equal Employment Law on Black Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
  20. H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1122-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  21. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1991. "Compensation for commutes in labor and housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 192-207, September.
  22. Fuchs, Victor R, 1989. "Women's Quest for Economic Equality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, Winter.
  23. Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
  24. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  25. Holzer, Harry J & Katz, Lawrence F & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-68, August.
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