The Spatial Determinants Of Wage Inequality: Evidence From Recent Latina Immigrants In Southern California
Recent Latina immigrants to the United States earn lower hourly wages than any other broad demographic group. This paper investigates the role space and scale play in shaping the employment opportunities and wages this group receives in Southern California relative to others there. Results suggest that, although individual factors such as education, experience, and ability to speak English are important, spatial forces also influence wages. Access to jobs, particularly low-skilled jobs and those held by Latinos, as well as ethnic neighborhood networks, explain a large share of the variation in hourly wages. The paper provides evidence that labor-market scales differ across groups within US metropolitan areas, with recent Latina immigrants being more geographically constrained and hence more dependent on local opportunities and resources than other workers, with the exception of black women.
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