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Ethnic Unemployment Rates and Frictional Markets

  • Laurent Gobillon


    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, INED - Institut national d'études démographiques)

  • Peter Rupert

    (University of California, Santa Barbara - University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Etienne Wasmer

    (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques - Sciences Po)

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 reecting more di cult 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 nd that spatial factors explain from 1 to 1.5 percentage points of the unemployment rate gap in both France and the US, amounting to 17% to 25% of the relative gap in France and about 10% to 17.5% in the US. Among these factors, di erences 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.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00849074.

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Date of creation: 30 Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00849074
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  1. Pierre-Philippe COMBES & Bruno DECREUSE & Morgane LAOUENAN & Alain TRANNOY, 2013. "Customer Discrimination and Employment OUtcomes: Theory and Evidence from the French Labor Market," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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