Analysing the effect of commuting time on earnings among young adults

Michael T. French, Ioana Popovici, Andrew R. Timming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


A few recent studies find a positive relationship between workplace income and commuting distance among the general population. However, young adults, with less advanced labour market skills, might be more likely to accept longer commutes even if they are not compensated with higher earnings in the short-run. We examine the relationship between commuting time and earnings in a sample of young adults from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. We employ various statistical approaches to disentangle the effects of commuting time on earnings while controlling for numerous socio-demographic factors, occupation, irregular work schedules or part-time work, transportation mode, and other explanatory variables. Our results indicate that 10 additional minutes of one-way commuting time is associated with a 2.9% (2.8%) increase in annual income for young adult men (women). These findings have implications for employers, young employees, workplace advocates, and policymakers as commuting is a prominent component of work–life balance for most individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5282-5297
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020


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