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

Federico H. Gutierrez

No 282, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

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.

Keywords: Gender pay gap; job location; wages; commute time; wage gradient (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J31 R41 J61 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-geo, nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2018
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