Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Commuting

May 25, 2023


Childbirth raises the opportunity cost of commuting and makes it difficult for both parents to work far away from home. Using detailed Norwegian employer-employee matched register data, we show that the commuting behavior of men and women diverges immediately after childbirth and that those differences persist for at least a decade. This divergence in commuting behavior exposes mothers to more concentrated and rural labor markets with fewer job opportunities and lower establishment quality. These findings uncover a key mechanism underlying the child penalty documented in prior work and have important implications for the design of policies seeking to address the remaining gender wage gap.

Posted on:
May 25, 2023
1 minute read, 105 words
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