Spatial mismatch, transport mode and search decisions in England

Eleonora Patacchini, Yves Zenou

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40 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a theoretical model in which whites mainly use private vehicles to commute whereas nonwhites use public transportation. We show that, for both whites and nonwhites, higher (time) distance to jobs leads to lower search effort. Because of different transport modes, we also show that, at exactly the same (time) distance to jobs, white unemployed workers search more intensively than nonwhites because it is less costly for them to gather information about jobs. We then test this model using English sub-regional data. We find that, for each race, indeed, living in areas where distance to jobs is higher yields the unemployed to search less than in areas with better job access. We also find that having access to a car increases search intensity for both whites and nonwhites. Finally, closing the racial gap in car access and distance to jobs would considerably narrow the difference in search intensities between whites and nonwhites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-90
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnic minorities
  • Job access
  • Job search
  • Panel data

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