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Is There a Quiet Revolution in Women's Travel? Revisiting the Gender Gap in Commuting

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  • Crane, Randall
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    Abstract

    Gender is both an archetypal and adaptive dimension of the urban condition and thus remains a key moving target for planning practitioners and scholars alike. This is especially true of women’s growing, if not revolutionary, involvement in the economy. A familiar exception is the trip linking work and home – the commute – which has been consistently and persistently shorter for women than men. That said, new reports suggest that the gender gap in commuting time and distance may have quietly vanished in some areas. To explore this possibility, I use panel data from the American Housing Survey to better measure and explain commute trends for the entire U.S. from 1985 through 2005. They overwhelmingly indicate that differences stubbornly endure, with men’s and women’s commuting distances converging only slowly and commuting times diverging. My results also show that commuting times are converging for all races, especially for women; women’s job access remains poorer than men’s, and women’s trips to work by transit are dwindling rapidly. Thus sex continues to play an important role explaining travel, housing, and labor market dynamics, with major implications for planning practice.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt8nj9n8nb.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt8nj9n8nb

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    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    References

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    1. Goldin, Claudia & Kuziemko, Ilyana & Katz, Lawrence, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Scholarly Articles 2962611, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, June.
    3. Kiel, Katherine A & Zabel, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Evaluating the Usefulness of the American Housing Survey for Creating House Price Indices," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 189-202, Jan.-Marc.
    4. Clark, William A. V. & Huang, Youqin & Withers, Suzanne, 2003. "Does commuting distance matter?: Commuting tolerance and residential change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 199-221, March.
    5. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable," Working Papers 199402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    6. White, Michelle J, 1986. "Sex Differences in Urban Commuting Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 368-72, May.
    7. Genevieve Giuliano & Kenneth A. Small, 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(9), pages 1485-1500, November.
    8. Crane, Randall, 1996. "The Influence of Uncertain Job Location on Urban Form and the Journey to Work," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 342-356, May.
    9. Rosenbloom, Sandra & Burns, Elizabeth, 1993. "Gender Differences in Commuter Travel in Tucson: Implications for Travel Demand management Programs," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt036776w2, University of California Transportation Center.
    10. Michael A. Stoll, 2006. "Job sprawl, spatial mismatch, and black employment disadvantage," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 827-854.
    11. Jan Rouwendal & Peter Nijkamp, 2004. "Living in Two Worlds: A Review of Home-to-Work Decisions," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 35(3), pages 287-303.
    12. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1991. "Compensation for commutes in labor and housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 192-207, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sandow, Erika & Westin, Kerstin, 2010. "The persevering commuter - Duration of long-distance commuting," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 433-445, July.
    2. Kan, Iddo & Haim, David & Rapaport-Rom, Mickey & Shechter, Mordechai, 2008. "Environmental Amenities and Optimal Agricultural Land Use: The Case of Israel," Discussion Papers 42832, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    3. Rafael Henrique Moraes Pereira & Tim Schwanen, 2013. "Commute Time in Brazil (1992-2009): Differences Between Metropolitan Areas, by Income Levels and Gender," Discussion Papers 1813a, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    4. Hearst, Mary O. & Sirard, John R. & Forsyth, Ann & Parker, Emily D. & Klein, Elizabeth G. & Green, Christine G. & Lytle, Leslie A., 2013. "The relationship of area-level sociodemographic characteristics, household composition and individual-level socioeconomic status on walking behavior among adults," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 149-157.
    5. Ron Buliung & Randy Bui & Ryan Lanyon, 2012. "When the internet is not enough: toward an understanding of carpool services for service workers," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(5), pages 877-893, September.
    6. Kirby, Dustin K. & LeSage, James P., 2009. "Changes in commuting to work times over the 1990 to 2000 period," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 460-471, July.

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