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City Structure, Job Search, and Labor Discrimination. Theory and Policy Implications

  • Selod, Harris

    ()

    (INTRA-LEA)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

We consider a search-matching model in which black workers are discriminated against and the job arrival rates of all workers depend on social networks as well as distance to jobs. Location choices are driven by the racial preferences of households (both blacks and whites) consciously choosing to trade off proximity to neighbors of similar racial backgrounds for proximity to jobs. Because of coordination failures in the location choices, multiple urban equilibria emerge. There is a Spatial-Mismatch Equilibrium in which blacks reside far away from jobs and experience high unemployment rates and a Spatial-Match Equilibrium in which blacks are closer to jobs and experience lower unemployment rates. Under some reasonable condition, we demonstrate that all workers are better off in the Spatial-Match Equilibrium. We then consider two policies: affirmative action, and employment subsidies to the firms which hire black workers. We show that the optimal policy requires imposing larger quotas or subsidies in cities in which black workers reside far away from jobs than in cities in which they live closer to jobs.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 620.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 18 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0620
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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  5. H. J. Holzer, . "Why do small establishments hire fewer blacks than large ones," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1119-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  6. Holzer, Harry J. & Reaser, Jess, 2000. "Black Applicants, Black Employees, and Urban Labor Market Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 365-387, November.
  7. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt," CEPR Discussion Papers 3967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Harry J. Holzer, 1998. "Why Do Small Establishments Hire Fewer Blacks Than Large Ones?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 896-914.
  10. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Rogers, Cynthia L., 1997. "Job Search and Unemployment Duration: Implications for the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-132, July.
  12. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-52, June.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  14. H. J. Holzer & K. R. Ihlanfeldt, . "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1122-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  15. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment With Explicit Spatial Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jackson, Matthew O. & Calvo, Antoni, 2002. "Social Networks in Determing Employment and Wages: Patterns, Dynamics, and Inequality," Working Papers 1149, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  18. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
  19. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
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  23. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Scafidi, Benjamin, 2002. "Black Self-Segregation as a Cause of Housing Segregation: Evidence from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 366-390, March.
  24. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2000. "Black Residential Centralization and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-134, July.
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  35. repec:oup:restud:v:68:y:2001:i:2:p:261-95 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1990. "The Impact of Affirmative Action Regulation and Equal Employment Law on Black Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
  37. Stoll, Michael A., 1999. "Spatial Job Search, Spatial Mismatch, and the Employment and Wages of Racial and Ethnic Groups in Los Angeles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 129-155, July.
  38. Courant, Paul N. & Yinger, John, 1977. "On models of racial prejudice and urban residential structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 272-291, July.
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