Home Location Choices and the Gender Commute Gap
52 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2021
Date Written: October 26, 2020
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
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