Working Papers


Abstract:
A wealth of research has shown that the commutes of American women are shorter, both in time and distance, than those of American men. This study takes advantage of a large, nationally representative dataset, the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), to examine gender differences in commute character and time. A method of calculating commuting time that accounts for stops along the journey is applied to ATUS data; analysis of gender differences in the number, type, and length of stops demonstrates the need for this commuting measure. Explanations for women’s shorter commutes are reviewed and tested alongside predicted relationships from a simple labor supply model. Controlling for marital status and the presence of children, women are more likely to be accompanied by children for their commute, and women tend to make longer stops than men. Multivariate regression results support two previously proposed explanations for the gender commuting time gap, based on gender differences in wages and types of jobs held. Contrary to the previously proposed Household Responsibility Hypothesis, this analysis provides evidence that greater household responsibility does not explain women’s shorter commutes.

Presentation:
Time Use Across the Life Course Conference, College Park, MD, June 2016.


Abstract:
Commuting plays an important role in labor supply and daily time use, acting as both a fixed time cost of labor force participation and as a constraint on time for other activities. Research into the relationships between commuting and other activities has been hampered by the lack of suitably comprehensive datasets. Data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) can be used to bridge this gap, offering the opportunity to examine commuting behavior and its relationship to demographics, labor market characteristics, and the amount of time spent on other activities. However, many commuting trips are likely misclassified using stock measures of work-related travel in the ATUS. This analysis proposes a method of addressing this shortcoming. After surveying possible methodologies for classifying travel, a methodology applied to the National Household Transportation Survey (NHTS) is adapted to the ATUS. Detailed time information in the ATUS and NHTS allows for the comparison of both aggregate commuting measures and the timing of commuting in the two surveys. The analysis is further extended to compare to information in another commonly used dataset, the American Community Survey. This analysis demonstrates the comparability of commuting estimates from the ATUS when the described trip tour methodology is used.

Presentation:
Perspectives on Time Use in the U.S. Conference, Washington, DC, June 2014.


Abstract:
The American “high school movement” of the early 20th century resulted in a dramatic rise in high school graduation rates, a trend that continued into the middle of the century interrupted only by World War II. Previous work has characterized the pre-World War II transformation of secondary education, but less attention has been focused on the continued increase in educational attainment after the War, culminating in Baby Boomer children graduating from high school at a greater rate than any previous generation. High rates of military service and subsequent subsidies for factors shown to be associated with children’s educational attainment offer a possible explanation. This paper links Baby Boomer children to their fathers using U.S. Census data to examine this relationship. Through linear regression and propensity score matching, this analysis finds that father’s veteran status is associated with greater educational attainment for children, particularly for WWII veterans. Exploiting discontinuities in military service allows for further examination of the exogeneity of this relationship, but does not provide strong evidence that this is due to an exogenous effect of military service and GI Bill subsidies rather than positive selection into military service.

Presentation:
Economic History Association Annual Meeting, Evanston, IL, September 2010.