Prior studies show that women are more willing to accept lower wages for shorter commutes than men. We show that gender differences in commuting preferences lead to a gender wage gap only if there is a wage penalty for shortening commutes, determined by the geography of jobs. We demonstrate this by showing that the commuting and wage gaps are considerably smaller among workers living near city centers, especially for occupations with a high geographic concentration of high-wage jobs. We highlight the geography of jobs as a key force that amplifies the impact of commuting preferences on the gender wage gap.
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© 2022 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology