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The effect of search imperfections on commuting behaviour: Evidence from employed and self-employed workers

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  • van Ommeren, Jos N.
  • van der Straaten, J. Willemijn

Abstract

We aim to estimate the effect of search imperfections on the length of the average commute. We start from the assumption that the commute of the self-employed is the result of a search process for vacant workplaces, whereas employees search for vacant jobs. Because the arrival rate of workplaces is much higher than the arrival rate of jobs, the self-employed minimize the commute, whereas employees may have to accept jobs with a longer commute. In the empirical analysis, the extent of the 'wasteful' or 'excess commuting' is identified by estimating the difference in the commute of employees and self-employed individuals. Our estimates indicate that about 40 to 60% of the observed commute may be considered 'excess' due to search imperfections. We reject a range of alternative hypotheses as to why the self-employed have a shorter commute than employees (self-selection of not working from home, preference for residence and workplace locations, characteristics of workers which are difficult to observe).

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  • van Ommeren, Jos N. & van der Straaten, J. Willemijn, 2008. "The effect of search imperfections on commuting behaviour: Evidence from employed and self-employed workers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 127-147, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:38:y:2008:i:2:p:127-147
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergii TROSHCHENKOV, 2016. "Return to Commuting Distance in Sweden," Departmental Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    2. repec:eee:jotrge:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:19-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2015. "Excess Commuting in the US: Differences between the Self-Employed and Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 9425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Stefan P.T. Groot & Henri L.F. de Groot & Paolo Veneri, 2012. "The Educational Bias in Commuting Patterns: Micro-Evidence for the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2016. "A Wage-Efficiency Spatial Model for US Self-Employed Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 9634, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Weiss, Martin, 2009. "How do Germans react to the commuting allowance?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 88, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    7. Van Ommeren, Jos & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2009. "Workers' marginal costs of commuting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 38-47, January.
    8. Reichelt, Malte & Haas, Anette, 2015. "Commuting farther and earning more? : how employment density moderates workers commuting distance," IAB Discussion Paper 201533, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Kantor, Yuval & Rietveld, Piet & van Ommeren, Jos, 2014. "Towards a general theory of mixed zones: The role of congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 50-58.
    10. Vincent Viguié, 2015. "Cross-commuting and housing prices in a polycentric modeling of cities," Policy Papers 2015.03, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    11. Angela Stefania Bergantino & Leonardo Madio, 2015. "The Travel-to-work. Which factors matter? An analysis on regional labor market in UK," ERSA conference papers ersa15p888, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2018. "Commuting Time and Sick-Day Absence of US Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 11700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2016. "Commuting Time and Sex Ratios in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 9933, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Peter Bäckström & Erika Sandow & Olle Westerlund, 2016. "Commuting and timing of retirement," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 56(1), pages 125-152, January.
    15. J. Ignacio, Giménez-Nadal & Jose Alberto, Molina & Jorge, Velilla, 2017. "Leisure and effort at work: incorporating self-employment into urban markets," MPRA Paper 77972, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Bergantino, Angela Stefania & Madio, Leonardo, 2016. "Travel-to-work. Which factors matter? An analysis on regional labor markets in the Uk," Working Papers 16_1, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica.

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