How Important is Access to Jobs? Old Question – Improved Answer

Reprint No. 2010:16

Author(s): Olof Åslund, John Östh and Yves ZenouYear: 2010 Title: Journal of Economic Geography Volume (No.): 10 (3) Pages: 389–422
Online article (restrictions may apply)

We study the impact of job proximity on individual employment and earnings. The analysis exploits a Swedish refugee dispersal policy to obtain 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 1990–1991 adversely affected employment in 1999. Doubling the number of jobs in the initial location in 1990–1991 is associated with 2.9 percentage points higher employment probability in 1999. Considering that the 1999 employment rate was 43% among the refugees, this is a considerable effect. The analysis suggests that residential sorting leads to underestimation of the impact of job access.

Åslund, Olof, John Östh and Yves Zenou (2010), "How Important is Access to Jobs? Old Question – Improved Answer". Journal of Economic Geography 10(3), 389–422.

An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.


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