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Daily feelings of US workers and commuting time


  • J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

  • José Alberto Molina

    () (Departamento de Análisis Económico, Universidad de Zaragoza)


Millions of individuals commute every day in the US. Despite commuting has been shown to have negative consequences for workers, no evidence has been about how commuting is related to feelings in other episodes. We analyzed the relationship between the feelings reported by American workers throughout the day and the time devoted to commuting. Methods: We used the Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey for the years 2010, 2012, and 2013, and analized the relationship between commuting duration and the feelings reported (e.g,. happiness, sadness, stress, fatigue and pain) in both commuting and non-commuting episodes. Results: We found that more time spent on the daily commute was related to higher levels of fatigue and stress during commuting, while also being associated with higher levels of sadness and fatigue during activities of child care. In particular, we found that a 1% increase in the time devoted to commuting during the episode was related to increases of 12 percent and 13 percent of a standard deviation for stress and fatigue, while a 1% increase in the time devoted to commuting during the day was related to increases of 5 percent and 7 percent of one standard deviation in the levels of sadness and stress during child care activities. Conclusions: Our results indicated that longer commutes may be related to higher levels of stress and fatigue of workers, which may in turn affect the quality of the time parents devote to caring for their children.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina, 2018. "Daily feelings of US workers and commuting time," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 967, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:967

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    Commuting; American Time Use Survey; Stress; Fatigue;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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