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Is your commute killing you?: On the mortality risks of long-distance commuting
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics. Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, Finland. (Economic Policy Network / ALC)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2014 (English)In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 46, no 6, 1496-1516 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a general belief that expanding labour-market regions, triggered by increased commuting, have positive economic effects on individuals, firms, and society. Recently, however, scholars have reported possible negative outcomes related to health and well-being. Based on these findings, this study addresses the association between long-distance commuting, and mortality. Using longitudinal individual data from between 1985 and 2008, focusing on 55-year-olds in 1994, we model mortality through propensity score matching and Kaplan–Meyer estimates of survival among long-distance commuters and matched controls from the population travelling short distances to work. The results indicate that women who have experienced long-distance commuting face a significantly higher mortality risk compared with women with short commutes to work. This seems to be driven by variations in income and education: for example, for women with long-distance commuting experience, substantially lower survival rates are found among those with low education and low income. A very different picture emerges for men, for whom mortality risks do not seem to be associated with long-distance commuting. Our findings suggest that men and women are subject to different mechanisms regarding the nexus between commuting and mortality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pion , 2014. Vol. 46, no 6, 1496-1516 p.
Keyword [en]
long-distance commuting, health, mortality, propensity score matching, survival rates
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economics; Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81955DOI: 10.1068/a46267ISI: 000345691600016Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84902829744OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-81955DiVA: diva2:659214
Projects
FAS 2006-1010
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2006-1010
Available from: 2013-10-24 Created: 2013-10-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Sandow, ErikaWesterlund, OlleLindgren, Urban

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Centre for Population Studies (CPS)Economic and social geographyDepartment of Economics
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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