Willingness to Commute (08-10-21)

Ruger, Stawarz, Skora, and Wiernik studied individuals’ willingness to commute and their findings have implications for locating both homes and workplaces.   The researchers report that  “We use unique longitudinal data from four European countries – Germany, France, Spain, and Switzerland – to examine the relationship between individual level willingness to commute long distances (i.e. at least 60 min one-way) and actual commuting behavior. . . .  planners should be cautious about decentralizing urban functions, services, and destinations to disparate locations; even if such decentralization substantially increases travel time and stress, people are likely to habituate, making the decentralization process difficult to reverse. Planning to increase access to affordable housing in metropolitan areas and attractive employment opportunities close to where families live should be implemented earlier rather than later, even if stated public demand is not initially high. . . . commuting willingness is not a fixed characteristic of a person, but rather varies meaningfully over time and is closely linked with people's current commuting behavior.”

Heiko Ruger, Nico Stawarz, Thomas Skora, and Brenton Wiernik.  “Longitudinal Relationship Between Long-Distance Commuting Willingness and Behavior:  Evidence from European Data.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology,101667, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101667