Sex Changes Everything: The Recent Narrowing and Widening of Travel Differences by Gender

As younger women increase their influence on household location and work decisions, and as women's participation rates in the labor market approach men's, the influence of gender on travel might be changing. The independent and interactive influence of other demographic factors, such as age and race, remain unclear. This study analyzes national microdata covering the past 20 years to examine the influence of gender on travel, and how gender clarifies the influence of other demographics on travel outcomes. The authors find sources of both convergence and divergence in travel behaviors by sex. The gender gap in commute length of older workers is growing, while that of younger workers steadily closes. At the same time, racial and gender differences in mode choice and commute times are becoming less pronounced. These findings indicate that gendered elements of travel demand are indeed evolving, if not in predictable directions. Directions for future research are discussed.


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  • Accession Number: 01141713
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 1 2009 9:53PM