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Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?

  • Giuliano, Genevieve
  • Small, Kenneth A.

Basic to several key issues in current urban economic theory and public policy is a presumption that local imbalances between employment and residential sites strongly influence people's commuting patterns. We examine this presumption by finding the commuting pattern for the Los Angeles region in 1980 which would minimise average commuting time or distance, given the actual spatial distributions of job and housing locations. We find that the amount of commuting required by these distributions is far less than actual commuting, and that variations in required commuting across job locations only weakly explain variations in actual commuting. We conclude that other factors must be more important to location decisions than commuting cost, and that policies aimed at changing the jobs-housing balance will have only a minor effect on commuting.

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Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt2ss7x5b1.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1993
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt2ss7x5b1
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