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Does Commuting Affect Health?

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  • Künn-Nelen, Annemarie

    () (ROA, Maastricht University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the relation between commuting time and health in the United Kingdom. I focus on four different types of health outcomes: subjective health measures, objective health measures, health behavior, and health care utilization. Fixed effect models are estimated with British Household Panel Survey data. I find that whereas objective health and health behavior are barely affected by commuting time, subjective health measures are clearly lower for people who commute longer. A longer commuting time is, moreover, related to more visits to the general practitioner. Effects turn out to be more pronounced for women and for commuters driving a car. For women, commuting time is also negatively related to regular exercise and positively to calling in sick.

Suggested Citation

  • Künn-Nelen, Annemarie, 2015. "Does Commuting Affect Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 9031, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Novaco, Raymond W. & Kliewer, Wendy & Broquet, Alexander, 1991. "Home Environment Consequences of Commute Travel Impedance," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1d5742g7, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 339-366, June.
    3. Benito, A. & Oswald, A., 2000. "Commuting in Great Britain in the 1990s," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 560, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Dickerson, Andy & Hole, Arne Risa & Munford, Luke A., 2014. "The relationship between well-being and commuting revisited: Does the choice of methodology matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 321-329.
    5. Georg Gottholmseder & Klaus Nowotny & Gerald J. Pruckner & Engelbert Theurl, 2009. "Stress perception and commuting," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 559-576.
    6. Richard Wener & Gary Evans & Donald Phillips & Natasha Nadler, 2003. "Running for the 7:45: The effects of public transit improvements on commuter stress," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 203-220, May.
    7. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Louis-Philippe Beland & Daniel A. Brent, 2018. "Traffic and the Provision of Public Goods," Departmental Working Papers 2018-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    2. Lorenz, Olga & Goerke, Laszlo, 2015. "Commuting and Sickness Absence," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113173, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. repec:kap:empiri:v:46:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10663-018-9426-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:160:y:2018:i:c:p:96-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brent, Daniel A., 2018. "Traffic and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 96-116.
    6. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2018. "Commuting Time and Sick-Day Absence of US Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 11700, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Lorenz, Olga & Goerke, Laszlo, 2016. "“Is your commute really making you fat?”: The causal effect of commuting distance on height-adjusted weight," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145569, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Olga Lorenz, 2017. "Does Commuting Matter to Subjective Well-Being?," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201707, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; commuting time; transportation mode;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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