Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2006:1: How important is access to jobs? Old question - improved answer

Olof Åslund (), John Östh () and Yves Zenou ()
Additional contact information
Olof Åslund: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: P O Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
John Östh: Uppsala University, Postal: Department of Social and Economic Geography, P O Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Yves Zenou: IUI, The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: Box 55665, 102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We study the impact of job proximity on individual employment and earnings. The analysis exploits a Swedish refugee dispersal policy to get exogenous variation in individual locations. Using very detailed data on the exact location of all residences and workplaces in Sweden, we find that having been placed in a location with poor job access in 1990–91 adversely affected employment in 1999. Doubling the number of jobs in the initial location in 1990–91 is associated with 2.9 percentage points higher employment probability in 1999. The analysis suggests that residential sorting leads to underestimation of the impact of job access.

Keywords: Spatial mismatch; endogenous location; natural experiment

JEL-codes: J15; J18; R23

42 pages, February 14, 2006

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