The employment rate for black youth is about half that of white youth. In this Research Report, Professors Keith Ihlanfeldt and David Sjoquist explore the hypothesis that job decentralization and housing segregation, which has resulted in reduced job access for black youth, is a major cause of the black youth employment problem. Their statistical analysis, based on the data from the Public Use Sanple of 1980 Census of Population, indicates that the probability of youth employment varies significantly with location (with higher probabilities being associated with suburban locations) and decreases significantly as job access falls.
These results are important in that they present some hard evidence that job access is a determinant of inner-city poverty, and perhaps is noter dimension to the underclass problem. It also adds the possibility that urban transportation might be one of the best policy instruments available to local governments for combating poverty.
This is the first in a series of Research Papers that will address the issue of urban poverty. Keith Ihlanfeldt is Associate Professor of Economics and David Sjoquist is Professor of Economics. Both are Senior Associates in the Policy Research Program.