Space in the Study of Labor Markets

We review three distinct literatures that take the relationship between labor markets and geographic space as a central concern, in particular: the research on race and spatial mismatch; the literature on gender, space, and labor markets; and the research on the spatial agglomeration of employers and its relationship to workers' careers and economic growth

Roberto M. Fernandez; Celina Su

2004

Scholarcy highlights

  • A common claim in the economic, geographic, and sociological literatures on labor markets is that space “matters” for labor market outcomes
  • We review three distinct literatures that take the relationship between labor markets and geographic space as a central concern, in particular: the research on race and spatial mismatch; the literature on gender, space, and labor markets; and the research on the spatial agglomeration of employers and its relationship to workers' careers and economic growth
  • Our goal in this review is to shed light on the key mechanisms by which spatial factors might work in the context of the labor market
  • Despite taking contrasting positions—for some of these discussions, the emphasis is on space as a constraining factor, whereas for others space is primarily a facilitator of labor market transactions—the issue of social networks emerges as an important theoretical thread across all these literatures
  • We conclude by considering the implications of this mechanism and suggesting lines of future research for the study of space and labor markets
  • It is curious that a concept that could not be more profoundly sociological does not have a niche in the sociological literature
  • This essay begins with the economics paradigm of agency ...Read More

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