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The disutility of commuting? The effect of gender and local labour markets

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Listed:
  • Munford, L.;
  • Rice, N.;
  • Roberts, J.;
  • Jacob, N.;

Abstract

Commuting is an extremely important modern phenomenon characterised by the spatial interaction of housing and labour markets. The average commuter in the UK spends nearly an hour a day travelling to and from employment. Standard economic theory postulates that commuting is a choice behaviour undertaken when compensated through either lower rents or greater amenities in the housing market or through greater wages in the labour market. By exploiting exogenous shocks to commuting time, this paper investigates the impact on wellbeing of increased commuting. Ceteris paribus, exogenous increases in commuting time are expected to lower wellbeing. We find this holds for women but not men. This phenomenon can be explained, in part, by the different labour markets in which women operate. Where local labour markets are thin, women report significantly lower wellbeing when faced with an increased commute. This does not hold for tight local labour markets. Further our findings reveal that it is full-time working women in the managerial and professional tier of the occupational hierarchy who are most affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Munford, L.; & Rice, N.; & Roberts, J.; & Jacob, N.;, 2018. "The disutility of commuting? The effect of gender and local labour markets," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:18/14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    commuting; exogenous shocks; well-being; panel data econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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