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Ethnic unemployment rates and frictional markets

Author

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  • Gobillon, Laurent
  • Rupert, Peter
  • Wasmer, Etienne

Abstract

The unemployment rate in France is roughly 6 percentage points higher for African immigrants than for natives. In the US the unemployment rate is approximately 9 percentage points higher for blacks than for whites. Commute time data indicates that minorities face longer commute times to work, potentially reflecting more difficult access to jobs. In this paper we investigate the impact of spatial mismatch on the unemployment rate of ethnic groups using the matching model proposed by Rupert and Wasmer (2012). We find that spatial factors explain 1–1.5 percentage points of the unemployment rate gap in both France and the US, amounting to 17–25% of the relative gap in France and about 10–17.5% in the US. Among these factors, differences in commuting distance play the most important role. In France, though, longer commuting distances may be mitigated by higher mobility in the housing market for African workers. Overall, we still conclude that labor market factors remain the main explanation for the higher unemployment rate of Africans.

Suggested Citation

  • Gobillon, Laurent & Rupert, Peter & Wasmer, Etienne, 2014. "Ethnic unemployment rates and frictional markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 108-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:79:y:2014:i:c:p:108-120
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2013.06.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Decreuse, Bruno & Schmutz, Benoît & Trannoy, Alain, 2018. "Neighbor discrimination theory and evidence from the French rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 104-123.
    2. François Bonnet & Etienne Lalé & Mirna Safi & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Better residential than ethnic discrimination!," Working Papers hal-01205219, HAL.
    3. Neumark, David & Simpson, Helen, 2015. "Place-Based Policies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Phillips, David C., 2014. "Getting to work: Experimental evidence on job search and transportation costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 72-82.
    5. Rathelot, Roland, 2014. "Ethnic differentials on the labor market in the presence of asymmetric spatial sorting: Set identification and estimation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 154-167.
    6. Picard, Pierre M. & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Urban spatial structure, employment and social ties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 77-93.
    7. Elisa Guglielminetti & Rafael Lalive & Philippe Ruh & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Spatial search strategies of job seekers and the role of unemployment insurance," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4n249fe9fu9, Sciences Po.
    8. François Bonnet & Etienne Lalé & Mirna Safi & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Better residential than ethnic discrimination! Reconciling audit's findings and interviews' findings in the Parisian housing market," Sciences Po publications 36, Sciences Po.
    9. LIU Yang & KAWATA Keisuke, 2015. "Labor Market and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap: Evidence from urban China," Discussion papers 15142, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local markets; Matching model; Ethnic groups; Discrimination; Spatial Mismatch;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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