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Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment, Working Paper 033 Open Access

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The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of residential employment. Findings from this literature review will provide the necessary background for our proposal to conduct research on the factors affecting the probability of employment for the residents of Washington, DC. This review is a counterpart to the review by Wolman, Levy, Young, and Blumenthal (2008) also provided to the Office of Revenue Analysis, that focused on the determinants of area economic competitiveness. Here our concern is not with the determinants of the number and types of jobs in the District of Columbia, but with the employment of DC residents, regardless of where they work. While a competitive advantage for the District will provide more opportunities for employment of District residents, the factors that drive residential employment differ from those that determine how many jobs are in a region. Local jobs may go to persons outside of the jurisdiction and local residents may work in jobs that are outside of the jurisdiction. There is little academic literature on employment by place of residence per se. There is however an extensive literature addressing various aspects of employment in ways relevant to residential employment. The focus of our review is on literature that addresses the question of what factors account for the number or percentage of city (or some sub-regional area) residents who are employed or, put in other terms, what are the factors that determine the probability that a resident of a particular sub-regional area will be in employment? The literature that is relevant will thus be research on individual employment generally and employment for particular classes of individuals (by race, gender, age, etc.).

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