When Work Moves: Job Suburbanization and Black Employment
This paper presents evidence that job suburbanization caused significant declines in black employment from 1970 to 2000. I document that, conditional on detailed job characteristics, blacks are less likely than whites to work in suburban establishments, and this spatial segregation is stable over time despite widespread decentralization of population and jobs. This stable segregation suggests job suburbanization may have increased black-white labor market inequality. Exploiting variation across metropolitan areas, I find that job suburbanization is associated with substantial declines in black employment rates relative to white employment rates. Evidence from nationally planned highway infrastructure corroborates a causal interpretation.