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Commuting trade-offs and distance reduction in two-worker households

  • Surprenant-Legault, Julien
  • Patterson, Zachary
  • El-Geneidy, Ahmed M.
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    Two-worker households have received a great deal of attention in the academic literature pertaining to transportation and land use planning. Two-worker households are likely to play an increasingly important role in determining future transportation demand but their expected impact has been subject to debate. This research uses a novel approach to quantify the degree to which partner commute distance affects individual commute distance. It quantifies the degree to which partners adjust their behavior to reduce total commute distance. It also provides empirical evidence that two-worker households do indeed adjust their residence workplace configuration to reduce commute distance. It does so through the use of an adaptation of common approaches to analyzing commute distance (modeling total as well as individual commute distances) with innovative variables inspired by the literature on household location and tenure. Findings from this study reconfirm the empirical research suggesting that members of two-worker households travel the same or less than one-worker households. They also confirm that partner commute distance has a positive impact on individual commute distance, suggesting partner commute distance is complementary. At the same time, it is shown that this does not imply that partner’s do not trade-off commute distance, rather two-worker households apply strategies to decrease their total commuting distance. This research could help policy makers in better understanding the commuting patterns of two-worker households to help in adapting land use and transportation policies that can address the needs of this growing population group.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 12-28

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:51:y:2013:i:c:p:12-28
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    1. Mette Deding & Trine Filges & Jos Van Ommeren, 2009. "Spatial Mobility And Commuting: The Case Of Two-Earner Households," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 113-147.
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    3. White, M.J., 1988. "Urban Commuting Journeys Are Not Wasteful," Papers 88-10, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    4. Plaut, Pnina O., 2006. "The intra-household choices regarding commuting and housing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 561-571, August.
    5. David Levinson, 1998. "Accessibility and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 199802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    6. 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.
    7. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 1999. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940-1990," NBER Working Papers 7109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2ss7x5b1, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "The Minimum Circuity Frontier and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 200905, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    10. A. E. Green, 1997. "A Question of Compromise? Case Study Evidence on the Location and Mobility Strategies of Dual Career Households," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 641-657.
    11. White, Michelle J, 1986. "Sex Differences in Urban Commuting Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 368-72, May.
    12. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1982. "Wasteful Commuting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1035-51, October.
    13. Jos van Ommeren, 2000. "Job and residential search behaviour of two-earner households," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 79(4), pages 375-391.
    14. Kobe Boussauw & Veronique Van Acker & Frank Witlox, 2012. "Excess Travel In Non‐Professional Trips: Why Look For It Miles Away?," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 103(1), pages 20-38, 02.
    15. White, Michelle J, 1988. "Urban Commuting Journeys Are Not "Wasteful."," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1097-110, October.
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