When Work Moves: Job Suburbanization and Black Employment
This paper examines whether job suburbanization caused declines in black employment rates from 1970 to 2000. I find that black workers are less likely than white workers to work in observably similar jobs that are located further from the central city. Using evidence from establishment relocations, I find that this relationship at least in part reflects the causal effect of job location. At the local labor market level, I find that job suburbanization is associated with substantial declines in black employment rates relative to white employment rates. Evidence from nationally planned highway infrastructure corroborates a causal interpretation.
I thank David Autor, Will Dobbie, Ben Feigenberg, Amy Finkelstein, Heidi Williams, Seth Zimmerman, and seminar participants at Princeton, Chicago Harris, Ohio State, Upjohn Institute, the 2015 EALE-SOLE conference, the 2012 AEA Summer Pipeline Conference, and MIT labor lunch for comments. I thank Nathaniel Baum-Snow for providing access to highway data compiled for Baum-Snow (2007). I also thank Ron Edwards, Bliss Cartwright, and Georgianna Hawkins of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for facilitating access to the EEO-1 form data and providing helpful feedback. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Conrad Miller, 2023. "When Work Moves: Job Suburbanization and Black Employment," Review of Economics and Statistics, vol 105(5), pages 1055-1072.