IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

“It's driving her mad”: Gender differences in the effects of commuting on psychological health

  • Roberts, Jennifer
  • Hodgson, Robert
  • Dolan, Paul

Commuting is an important component of time use for most working people. We explore the effects of commuting time on the psychological health of men and women. We use data from the British Household Panel Survey in a fixed effects framework that includes variables known to determine psychological health, as well as factors which may provide compensation for commuting such as income, job satisfaction and housing quality. Our results show that, even after these variables are considered, commuting has an important detrimental effect on the psychological health of women, but not men, and this result is robust to numerous different specifications. We explore explanations for this gender difference and can find no evidence that it is due to women's shorter working hours or weaker occupational position. Rather women's greater sensitivity to commuting time seems to be a result of their larger responsibility for day-to-day household tasks, including childcare and housework.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629611000853
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1064-1076

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:1064-1076
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. White, Michelle J, 1986. "Sex Differences in Urban Commuting Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 368-72, May.
  2. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-99, July.
  4. Cropper, Maureen L. & Gordon, Patrice L., 1991. "Wasteful commuting: A re-examination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 2-13, January.
  5. Jos van Ommeren, 1998. "On-the-Job Search Behavior: The Importance of Commuting Time," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(4), pages 526-540.
  6. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1163, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. repec:dgr:kubcen:200769 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Verbeek, M. & Nijman, T., 1990. "Testing For Selectivity Bias In Panel Data Models," Papers 9018, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  9. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The paradox of declining female happiness," Working Paper Series 2009-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Schwanen, Tim & Dijst, Martin, 2002. "Travel-time ratios for visits to the workplace: the relationship between commuting time and work duration," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 573-592, August.
  12. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
  13. AlisonL. Booth & JanC. vanOurs, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F77-F99, 02.
  14. Janice F. Madden & JMichelle J. White, 1980. "Spatial Implications of Increases in the Female Labor Force: A Theoretical and Empirical Synthesis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(4), pages 432-446.
  15. Lyons, Glenn & Jain, Juliet & Holley, David, 2007. "The use of travel time by rail passengers in Great Britain," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-120, January.
  16. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 339-366, 06.
  17. Thomas, Jonathan M., 1998. "Ethnic Variation in Commuting Propensity and Unemployment Spells: Some U.K. Evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 385-400, May.
  18. Small, Kenneth A. & Song, Shunfeng, 1992. ""Wasteful" Commuting: A Resolution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5142n2ts, University of California Transportation Center.
  19. Jan Rouwendal, 2004. "Search Theory and Commuting Behavior," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-017/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  20. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  21. Eva Gutierrez-i-Puigarnau & Jos van Ommeren, 2009. "Labour Supply and Commuting: Implications for Optimal Road Taxes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-008/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  22. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 420-46, September.
  23. Georg Gottholmseder & Klaus Nowotny & Gerald J. Pruckner & Engelbert Theurl, 2009. "Stress perception and commuting," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 559-576.
  24. van den Berg, Gerard J & Gorter, Cees, 1997. "Job Search and Commuting Time," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 269-81, April.
  25. Latreille, Paul L. & Blackaby, David H. & Murphy, Philip D. & O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2006. "How Far and For How Much? Evidence on Wages and Potential Travel-to-Work Distances from a Survey of the Economically Inactive," IZA Discussion Papers 1976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
  27. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  28. DeSalvo, Joseph S. & Huq, Mobinul, 1996. "Income, Residential Location, and Mode Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 84-99, July.
  29. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  30. Jan Rouwendal, 2004. "Search Theory and Commuting Behavior," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 391-418.
  31. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  32. Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva & van Ommeren, Jos, 2010. "Labour Supply and Commuting," IZA Discussion Papers 4798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Lothlorien Redmond & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2001. "The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 179-205, May.
  34. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  35. Benito, A. & Oswald, A., 2000. "Commuting in Great Britain in the 1990s," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 560, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  36. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  37. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  38. Ory, David T. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "When is getting there half the fun? Modeling the liking for travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 97-123.
  39. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-25, May.
  40. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring subjective well-being for public policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  41. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1982. "Wasteful Commuting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1035-51, October.
  42. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:1064-1076. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.