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Tereza Ranosova (University of Michigan)
February 6 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
You can find the paper here.
Title: Commuting and the Value of Marriage
Abstract: Over time, as metro-areas sprawled to the suburbs, long commutes became common. In this paper I combine motivating evidence with a structural model to show how policies resulting in long commutes affect singles differently than couples (and men differently than women), if evaluated in a joint housing and marriage market equilibrium. First, I show that the gender gap in commuting among singles is negligible. Second, men in couples (not women) have much longer commutes than single men, and residential choice cannot explain this difference. This suggests that commuting features gains from specialization harnessed within couples, allowing men to take better jobs. I embed this feature in a quantitative spatial model with endogenous marriage and location choices that successfully captures the commuting and location patterns by marital status. In equilibrium, gains from specialization in commuting have the following implications: as metro areas expand in the model, commuting increases most for men in couples and employment falls most for women in couples, widening gender gaps in both outcomes. However, in terms of welfare it is singles who lose the most. Couples are able to partially evade commuting costs through specialization, lower housing costs and redistributing resources within the household.