Spatial Mismatch, Immigrant Networks, and Hispanic Employment in the United States

Judith K. Hellerstein, Melissa McInerney, David Neumark

NBER Working Paper No. 15398
Issued in October 2009
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

We study the relationship between Hispanic employment and location-specific measures of the distribution of jobs. We find that it is only the local density of jobs held by Hispanics that matters for Hispanic employment, that measures of local job density defined for Hispanic poor English speakers or immigrants are more important, and that the density of jobs held by Hispanic poor English speakers are most important for the employment of these less-skilled Hispanics than for other Hispanics. This evidence is consistent with labor market networks being an important influence on the employment of less-skilled Hispanics, as is evidence from other sources. We also find that in MSAs where the growth rates of the Hispanic immigrant population have been highest, which are also MSAs with historically low Hispanic populations, localized job density for low-skilled jobs is even more important for Hispanic employment than in the full sample. We interpret this evidence as consistent with the importance of labor market networks, as strong labor market networks are likely to have been especially important in inducing Hispanics to migrate, and because of these networks employment in these "new immigrant" cities is especially strongly tied to the local availability of jobs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15398

Published: Judith K. Hellerstein & Melissa Mcinerney & David Neumark, 2010. "Spatial Mismatch, Immigrant Networks, and Hispanic Employment in the United States," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 141-167. citation courtesy of

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