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Excess or wasteful commuting assessed by sex and socio-economic group: London, Birmingham and Manchester, England (Abstract only)

Frost, Martin
Spence, Nigel
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
This research considers the application of an urban zonal travel optimisation model to the actual commuting patterns between residences and workplaces in the three largest English cities in 1981 and 1991. The model produces an estimate of the average commuting distance required if individuals could exchange residences and workplaces to minimise distance travelled. In contrast to previous work published by these authors (Transportation Research) individuals in this paper are classified separately by socio-economic group and by sex. Residences and workplaces can be matched only by persons of the same socio-economic group or sex. The proportion of the actual commuting distance above the optimum is defined as excess or wasteful commuting. The existing literature using this methodology can be criticised on the grounds that individuals of different socio-economic groups (essentially based on employment type) have had their residences and workplaces coupled prior to the excess commuting calculations. This is certainly not how urban labour markets work. This paper is the first example to undertake the matching by separate segments of the labour force and as a consequence achieve a better approximation of reality. The results are surprising and counterintuitive - there appears to greater wasteful commuting (according to this methodology) for individuals travelling shorter distances - most often equated with women and lower socio-economic groups.
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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