Examining Spatial Mismatch Through a New Geography of Opportunity Index

The objective of this project is to develop a new index of geographic opportunity that improves upon existing measures to analyze the spatial mismatch between job growth and populations in urban settings. Past measures of job accessibility have relied on measures of linear distance between populations and job, actual commute times for those working, or much simpler regional approaches. These past measures suffer from combinations of measurement error and endogeneity due to the fact that linear distance is most relevant if someone has a car and commute times derived from a working population subsumes a set of job market and residential choices for this population. Past measures are most problematic for the most disadvantaged populations that are unlikely to have a car. This research highlights the need to develop an exogenous measure of job access that does not require car ownership. In the proposed study, the research team will develop a gravity model of job access that uses travel time in public transportation. Generalized Transit Feed Specification data can be used to replace measures of actual commute times of workers and linear distance to produce better estimates for job accessibility for the most vulnerable populations. The team will then test this new measure of the Geography of Opportunity in models of spatial mismatch to determine how job accessibility impact employment outcomes. This study has important implications for understanding patterns of unemployment, underemployment, and access to labor markets, especially for populations with employment barriers.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $99983
    • Contract Numbers:

      Project #: MT-17-09

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      METRANS Transportation Center

      University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626

      Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

      650 Childs Way
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089

      Department of Transportation

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Brinkerhoff, Cort

    • Principal Investigators:

      Painter, Gary

    • Start Date: 20180101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20181231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01652747
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
    • Contract Numbers: Project #: MT-17-09
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Nov 30 2017 10:15AM