Gray Kimbrough



Measuring Commuting in the American Time Use Survey. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 2019

Research into the relationships between commuting and other activities has been hampered by the lack of suitably comprehensive datasets. This paper identifies a possible source of detailed information for such studies, the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). This paper surveys approaches used by researchers to analyze commuting in the ATUS and outlines a method of measuring commuting in a clear and consistent way. This analysis details the advantages of this method over other approaches. Commuting measured in the ATUS using this methodology is shown to be consistent with commuting measures in other large, nationally representative studies. The proposed methodology makes possible a range of analyses exploiting the unique information in the ATUS.

Working Papers

Xboxes and Ex-workers? Gaming and Labor Supply of Young Adults in the U.S.

One popular hypothesis holds that the increasing appeal of video games over the last decade has led men to reduce working hours. I examine American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data in detail, documenting the extent of the increase in gaming. I note that increasing gaming time is generally offset by decreasing time spent on other electronics leisure. Moreover, I find that the observed trend is consistent with an alternative explanation, that a shift in social norms rendered playing video games more acceptable at later ages, particularly for non-employed men. The increase in gaming is concentrated among men living with parents, and is not uniform for all ages of young adults. The data further suggest that men exiting the work force do not exhibit significant preferences for gaming leisure.

What Drives Gender Differences in Behavior? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey

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.