Are women ‘forced’ to work closer to home due to other responsibilities? Does this contribute to gender wage differentials?
The World Bank recently financed an urban mobility survey in greater Buenos Aires to explore the gender dimension of commuting – an issue we (and our co-author Catalina Ochoa) have been interested in for quite some time. There is plenty of evidence that even in relatively sophisticated middle class settings such as in Buenos Aires, ‘traditional’ gender roles survive – women, particularly women with children, have more complex travel patterns than their male counterparts. They travel more, they have more travel needs at off-peak hours than men, and these non-work travel needs are often associated with fixed destinations (e.g. child care). The mobility survey confirmed that the trends observed in Buenos Aires were similar to findings across the world including Europe, US, as well as nations in the global south like Peru and Vietnam.