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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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856413000955
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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. 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.
    2. 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.
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    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. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. White, M.J., 1988. "Urban Commuting Journeys Are Not Wasteful," Papers 88-10, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    9. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes In The Locational Choice Of The College Educated, 1940-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315, November.
    10. White, Michelle J, 1986. "Sex Differences in Urban Commuting Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 368-72, May.
    11. David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "The Minimum Circuity Frontier and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 200905, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    12. Madden, Janice Fanning, 1980. "Urban Land Use and the Growth in Two-Earner Households," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 191-97, May.
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    14. David Levinson, 1998. "Accessibility and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 199802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
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