Ethnic enclave residence, employment, and commuting of Latino workers

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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of living in ethnic enclaves in different parts of a metropolitan area on low-skilled Latino immigrants' employment accessibility. It does so by comparing the employment status and commuting times of Latinos living in and out of ethnic neighborhoods in central city, inner-ring suburbs, and outer-ring suburbs in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Using the 2000 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), this paper finds that central-city residents tend to have both lower employment probability and longer commutes. The enclave effect is much muted and a spatial mismatch effect evident in these areas. But in the suburban areas, while as likely to work as non-enclave counterparts, enclave residents tend to commute longer to jobs, suggesting the importance of ethnic networks in these enclave neighborhoods. Further distinguishing Latino immigrants by gender shows that women are more enclave-disadvantaged than men. © 2009 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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