The Geography of Jobs and the Gender Wage Gap
55 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2020 Last revised: 19 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 16, 2021
Prior studies have shown that women are willing to trade off higher wages for a short commute than men. We show that such gender differences in commuting preferences would lead to a gender wage gap only if the wage penalty for shortening commute time is significant, and the magnitude of the wage penalty depends on the geography of jobs. To quantify how the geography of jobs affects the gender wage gap, we estimate a static job choice model, which consists of (i) indifference curves between wages and commutes by gender, and (ii) the wage penalty of reducing commutes faced by each worker due to the spatial distribution of jobs. The model shows that gender differences in commuting choices contribute to 21% of the gender wage gap, with the geography of jobs as a key amplifying force.
Keywords: gender, commuting, spatial distribution of jobs, wage gap, wage penalty, locations, gender equity
JEL Classification: J16, J22, J31, R12, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation