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Commuting Patterns, the Spatial Distribution of Jobs and the Gender Pay Gap in the U.S

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  • Gutierrez, Federico H.

Abstract

This paper studies to what extent gender differences in commuting patterns explain the observed disparities between husband and wife in relation to earnings and wages. It is argued that the cost of commuting is higher for women because they bear a disproportionate share of housework and child-rearing responsibilities. Therefore, female workers tend to work relatively close to home. A `job location wage gap' emerges because jobs located away from the central business district offer lower wages. Using pooled data from the American Community Survey, the results indicate that 10% of the gender pay gap among childless workers and more than 23% of the wage decline attributed to being a mother ("child pay penalty") are explained by sex differences in commuting patterns. A conditional Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition indicates that short commutes are strongly associated with working in low-paying occupations and industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Gutierrez, Federico H., 2018. "Commuting Patterns, the Spatial Distribution of Jobs and the Gender Pay Gap in the U.S," GLO Discussion Paper Series 282, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender pay gap; job location; wages; commute time; wage gradient;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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