Teenage Employment and the Spatial Isolation of Minority and Poverty Households
This paper tests the importance of the spatial isolation of minority and poverty households for youth employment in large metropolitan areas. We estimate a model relating youth employment probabilities to individual and family characteristics, race, and metropolitan location. We then investigate the determinants of the systematic differences in employment probabilities by race and metropolitan area. A substantial fraction of differences in youth employment can be attributed to the isolation of minorities and poor households. Minority youth residing in more segregated cities or cities in which minorities have less contact with nonpoor households have lower employment probabilities than otherwise comparable youth. Simulations suggest that these spatial effects explain a substantial fraction of the existing differences in youth employment rates by race.