Gender, race, and the determinants of commuting: New york in 1990

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines changing race and gender differences in commuting time and their relationships to social and economic restructuring in the New York metropolitan region. During the 1980s, the region's economic base and social fabric changed dramatically with a continued loss of manufacturing employment, rise of service employment, growth of households headed by women, and accelerated suburbanization. Using 1980 and 1990 PUMS data, we analyze gender differences in commuting times in central and suburban areas for African American, Latino, and White workers. We also analyze the determinants of commuting time for each gender/race group in 1980 and 1990. The results indicate that, despite significant restructuring, average commuting times have changed only slightly. Moreover, the major determinants of commuting times have remained stable: wages and means of transportation strongly affect work-trip length for all gender/race groups in all parts of the urban region. Household characteristics have the most significant impacts on commuting times for male workers. Marriage lengthens commuting times for men of all race/ethnic groups, reflecting the domestic division of labor and time for married couples. For White women, particularly in the suburbs, the presence of children leads to shorter work trips.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-212
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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