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The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: What Has the Evidence Shown?


  • Harry J. Holzer

    (Department of Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1038, USA)


This paper reviews 20 years' worth of empirical evidence on the 'spatial mismatch' hypothesis. After briefly surveying the relevant models from urban and labour economics and recent trends in employment and population suburbanisation, the empirical evidence on spatial effects is examined. This literature includes evidence on the effects of residential segregation, residential suburbanisation and employment suburbanisation, and direct measures of 'access' (such as travel times). The most recent evidence suggests that spatial mismatch is relevant for explaining black/white employment differences, though the magnitudes of these effects remain unclear.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry J. Holzer, 1991. "The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: What Has the Evidence Shown?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 28(1), pages 105-122, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:28:y:1991:i:1:p:105-122

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