DP3968 | Mismatch, Transport Mode and Search Decisions in England

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We develop a theoretical model in which whites mainly use private vehicles to commute whereas non-whites use public transportation. We show that, for whites and non-whites, higher (time) distance-to-jobs leads to lower search effort. Because of different transport modes, we also show that, at exactly the same (time) distance-to-jobs, white unemployed workers search more intensively than non-whites because it less costly for them to gather information about jobs. We then test this model using English sub-regional data. We find that, for each race, living in areas where distance-to-jobs is higher means the unemployed search less than in areas with better job access. We also find that having access to a car increases search intensity for both whites and non-whites. Finally, closing the racial gap in car access and distance-to-jobs would considerably narrow the difference in search intensities between whites and non-whites.