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Spatial mismatch beyond black and white: Levels and determinants of job access among Asian and Hispanic subpopulations


  • Janeria Easley


United States (US) based research suggests that distance between residency and employment constrains labour market outcomes for black Americans. Work on this phenomenon, termed spatial mismatch, suggests that residential segregation from whites shapes labour market outcomes among blacks by restricting access to job-dense suburbs. However, few studies examine patterns and drivers of spatial mismatch among Asian and Hispanic subpopulations. Using data on job counts from the 2010 Zip Code Business Patterns data set and on population counts from the 2010 US decennial Censuses, I estimate spatial mismatch for the largest ethnoracial groups in the USA: black, white, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese Americans. To measure spatial mismatch, I create indices of dissimilarity between jobs and residency for all Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with available data. Estimates of spatial mismatch based on panethnic categories mask subpopulation heterogeneity. Most subgroups experience higher spatial mismatch than indicated by the panethnic category. The results also show novel racial differences: the average Vietnamese and Cuban American experience higher spatial mismatch than the average black American. Segregation from whites is a central predictor of exposure to spatial mismatch across all minority groups, though findings suggest that this relationship is not driven by suburbanisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Janeria Easley, 2018. "Spatial mismatch beyond black and white: Levels and determinants of job access among Asian and Hispanic subpopulations," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 55(8), pages 1800-1820, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:55:y:2018:i:8:p:1800-1820

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