Two-worker households, commuting patterns, race, and residential and job location choices

Jen-Yu Wu, University of Pennsylvania


Although research efforts have been made to model the choice behavior of two-worker households, other factors—such as the constraints of the access to transportation modes on residential location choice and the constraints arising from different social-economic characteristics of households—have not been fully considered. The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to model the combined choices of residential location, job location, and transportation mode by two-worker households, and second, to compare the choice outcomes of different population groups with respect to certain constraints arising from their social-economic characteristics. In particular, the constraints considered are with respect to differences in race (whites vs. blacks), the presence of children, and automobile ownership. Thus, a theoretical model of combined choice behavior of two-worker households is constructed within the framework of nested logit models. To study choice differences arising from the above constraints, it is postulated that preferences among all groups of renter (homeowner) households are identical. This model is applied to study the combined choice behaviors of two-worker households in the Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia PMSAs. Utilizing the 1990 5 percent PUMS, the model is calibrated with respect to both full information and sequential estimation procedures. These empirical results are then used to test hypotheses in terms of log-odds ratios for comparing the constraints imposed on the various groups. The main findings of this study are as follows. Regarding racial differences, some differences are found in both residential and job locations: in the Detroit PMSA, black two-worker households are more likely than white two-worker households to live in the central city. Black husbands are more likely to work in the City of Detroit if they reside there; as are black homeowner husbands and wives in the City of Philadelphia. The presence of children also significantly influences job locations of wives in all three PMSAs. Some differences were found in the choice outcomes between households with and without automobiles in the Philadelphia PMSA (for Detroit there were no observations). However, there was little difference in the choice outcomes for blacks and whites without cars.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Geography|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|Transportation

Recommended Citation

Wu, Jen-Yu, "Two-worker households, commuting patterns, race, and residential and job location choices" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9937792.