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Connecting Disadvantaged Communities to Work and Higher Education Opportunities: Evidence from Public Transportation Penetration to Arab Towns in Israel

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  • Abu-Qarn, Aamer

    (Ben Gurion University)

  • Lichtman-Sadot, Shirlee

    (Ben Gurion University)

Abstract

Disadvantaged communities are often geographically segregated from employment and higher education opportunities. Increasing access can entail substantial welfare gains, but this can also affect the tradeoff faced by young adults between investing in higher education and working for pay. We evaluate the introduction of bus services to Arab towns in Israel, which substantially and differentially increased access either to work only or to work and higher education opportunities among a disadvantaged population. Exploiting the variation that different bus line connections created in the opportunity cost of schooling, we find that young adult responses are consistent with a tradeoff between investing in higher education and working for pay. For females, under certain circumstances, there is a simultaneous decrease in both labor market and educational attainment outcomes. We argue that this is due to a combination of a household income effect and social stigma that is associated with female labor force participation. Our results demonstrate the importance of accounting for potential reductions in educational attainment when expanding work opportunities to disadvantaged communities and that traditional barriers can play a large role in female integration into the labor market.

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  • Abu-Qarn, Aamer & Lichtman-Sadot, Shirlee, 2019. "Connecting Disadvantaged Communities to Work and Higher Education Opportunities: Evidence from Public Transportation Penetration to Arab Towns in Israel," IZA Discussion Papers 12824, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12824
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education; spatial mismatch; public transportation; opportunity cost;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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