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Not driving alone: Commuting in the Twenty-first century


  • Stephen B. DeLoach

    () (Department of Economics, Elon University)

  • Thomas Tiemann

    () (Department of Economics, Elon University)


This paper investigates recent commuting trends in American workers. Unlike most studies of commuting that rely on Census data, this study utilizes the unique American Time Use Survey to detail the complex commuting patterns of modern-day workers. The data confirm what has been suspected, that incidence of driving alone has decreased substantially in recent years while carpooling has rebounded. The results from the multi-nominal logistic estimation of workers' commuting choices yield support for both the traditional economic determinants as well as for the newer, socio-economic factors. In addition to the cost savings, many commuters appear to value the social aspect of carpooling. Surprisingly, there is little evidence that the need for autonomy plays much of a factor in explaining workerÕs choice of the journey to work. The estimated short-run elasticity of carpooling with respect to real gas prices appears to be quite high and largely accounts for the significant decline in the incidence of driving alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen B. DeLoach & Thomas Tiemann, 2010. "Not driving alone: Commuting in the Twenty-first century," Working Papers 2010-01, Elon University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:elo:wpaper:2010-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Ride sharing; carpooling; commuting; gasoline process; social capital;

    JEL classification:

    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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