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Immigrants and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: Employment Outcomes Among Immigrant Youth in Los Angeles

Cathy Yang Liu, Gary Painter, Duan Zhuang
This paper examines the effect of space and race/ethnicity on labor force participation outcomes among minority and immigrant youth in the Los Angeles metropolitan areas. This research contributes to the spatial mismatch literature by analyzing the differences between first and second generation immigrants in addition to exploring the role of race and job accessibility on the likelihood of working. It does so by comparing the employment status of comparable youth (16-21) who reside in central cities, inner ring suburbs and outer ring suburbs respectively using 2000 Census PUMS data. Finally, we model the decision to attend school and to work in a bivariate probit framework to discover how the correlation across decision may change the estimated impact of race and space on employment. The results of this study suggest that both space and race play a role in probability that a youth will work, but that the decision to attend school does not impact influence the estimated impact of space and race on employment.