Home Location Choices and the Gender Commute Gap

52 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2021

See all articles by Yizhen Gu

Yizhen Gu

Peking University HSBC Business School

Naijia Guo

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Jing Wu

Tsinghua University - Hang Lung Center for Real Estate; Tsinghua University - Department of Construction Management

Ben Zou

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 26, 2020

Abstract

Using administrative records of home mortgages in Beijing, we show that households systematically choose to buy new homes that are closer to the wife’s workplace. Compared with the husband’s commute, new homes are on average 11% closer to the wife’s workplace by distance and requires 4% less commute time. In terms of a household’s disutility from choosing a particular home, a one log point increase in the wife’s commute distance is equivalent to a 0.5 log point increase in the house price, and a 1.7 log point increase in the husband’s commute distance. Using a collective household model, we show that home location choices and the resulting gender commute differences reflect the intra-household division of labor and differences in bargaining power. We discuss the implications of the observed gender commute gap for the gender pay gap.

Keywords: gender gap, commute to work, housing demand

JEL Classification: J16, R21, J22

Suggested Citation

Gu, Yizhen and Guo, Naijia and Wu, Jing and Zou, Ben, Home Location Choices and the Gender Commute Gap (October 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3719404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3719404

Yizhen Gu

Peking University HSBC Business School ( email )

Naijia Guo

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Jing Wu

Tsinghua University - Hang Lung Center for Real Estate ( email )

HeShanHeng Building
Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://thuwujing.net

Tsinghua University - Department of Construction Management ( email )

Heshanheng Building
Tsinghua University
Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://thuwujing.net

Ben Zou (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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