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Study Raises Important Housing, Transit Questions

Market Data + Trends

Study Raises Important Housing, Transit Questions

August 31, 2018
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Photo: Unsplash/Tanja Heffner

A new study by the University of Notre Dame finds that the length of a person's commute in Washington, D.C. can have a detrimental effect on their economic power. 

Adding to the mounting evidence of local limited economic mobility, the study interrogates and analyzes how much employers value where potential employees live, and how they live. “We find that the positive response rates for folks who were listed as living in nearby, affluent neighborhoods were significantly higher than for folks who live in poorer neighborhoods, farther from jobs,” explains study author and economist David C. Phillips. The researchers also found that hiring managers typically call back applicants who live farther away from the office premises 14 percent less frequently than those who live closer, CityLab reports. 

Phillips and his team focused on D.C., a city, like many others in America, that has a “spatial mismatch” between low-wage jobs and those who work them. There, these types of positions are largely located in the center of the city, whereas the workers who do them tend to live disproportionately in the Southeast fringes. For a few months in 2014, Phillips and his team sent out fictional résumés to job openings in the city’s core, and analyzed response rates. The conclusion: Yes, employers do care about where applicants live; they care a lot.

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