Commuting is integral to labor force participation for most workers, but the connection between commuting and labor force participation is complex. Transportation planners and researchers have long recognized that the nature of the connection is different for women and men. This article reviews recent research on the link between women's commuting and labor force participation and identifies five key themes in the literature. Women's shorter work trips have been explained in terms of women's low wages, the need to coordinate dual roles as mothers and wage earners, and as a reflection of a more even distribution of jobs that traditionally hire women. Short work trips may also reflect spatial entrapment in highly localized labor markets. Finally, shorter work trips may reflect a spatial mismatch between low-income and minority women's residential locations and entry-level jobs. Thus, employment may entail much longer commutes for inner-city residents. The article evaluates research within each theme, identifies future research needs, and explores the implications for current policy debates over welfare reform.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Sage Publications, Incorporated

    2455 Teller Road
    Thousand Oaks, CA  United States  91320
  • Authors:
    • MacDonald, H I
  • Publication Date: 1999-2


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00766253
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2003 12:00AM