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Gender Differences in Commuting: An Empirical Study of the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area

Abstract

Since the nineteen-seventies, as a byproduct of our rapidly changing social structure, gender equity has become a major concern. This concern and the increase in the female labor force participation rate and in the female commuting population has motivated scholars to analyze and explain male and female commuting differences. Despite the many studies of gender-based differences in commuting behavior over the past decade, scholars still have not been able to agree on the reasons males commute longer distances than females. A general consensus, except for the concerns of Gordon, Kumar and Richardson (1989), is that socioeconomic and spatial structures constrain females more than males, resulting in women having shorter commuting than males. With regard to socioeconomic constraints, the first thorough examination of those factors which possibly affect gender differences in commuting was done by Hanson and Johnston (1985). Later, the effect of household type was examined by Johnston-Anumonwo (1992) using the same data used by Hanson and Johnston (1985).

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