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Using the American Community Survey between 2005 and 2017, this article explores the evidence for potential migration constraints by comparing distributions of people and jobs across race and education. Using the Delta Index of dissimilarity, it illustrates a greater distributional mismatch between workers and jobs among racial minorities, relative to White non-Hispanics. This mismatch suggests greater migration constraints among racial minorities.

Key findings:

  1. We determine that Black and Hispanic workers are more geographically mismatched with their job opportunities than Whites, suggesting racial minorities are more constrained in chasing better economic outcomes.
  2. Although higher education significantly improves the geographic mismatch among Whites, this is not the case for either Blacks or Hispanics.

Center Affiliation: Center for Human Capital Studies

JEL classification: J61, J15, J18

Key words: racial labor market disparities, migration costs, Delta Index, social costs, place-based, people-based, mismatch

https://doi.org/10.29338/ph2020-06Off-site link

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