But long commuting times also entail less time for family and friends and can lead to stress and health problems. Pair relationships are also jeopardized, and according to a new dissertation from Umeå University, the risk of separation is 40 percent higher among long-distance commuters than among other people.
Expanding job market regions are prompting more and more people to commute long distances to work, and for 11 percent of Swedes it takes at least 45 minutes to get to work. Many of them are parents of small children and live with their partner, and most of them are men.
In her dissertation, social geographer Erika Sandow at Umeå University has mapped long-distance commuting in Sweden and examined its impacts on income and relationships. The findings show that even though income and careers often benefit from commuting, social costs are incurred, and, according to Erika Sandow, they should be included in the discussion.
The study covers more than two million Swedes who were married or cohabiting in 2000, and the results are based on Statistics Sweden’s registry data for these individuals from 1995 and 2005. Erika Sandow shows that those who commute long distances gain access to a broader job market and often to greater career opportunities and better income development. But women and men benefit in different degrees, with income increasing more for long-distance commuting men. However, these commuters’ partners lose income, and since most long-distance commuters are men, this means that many women both take home less money and take on the responsibility for the family and children.
– It’s also common for women to take a less qualified job close to home, or to start working part time, in order to drop off and pick up the kids at day care, says Erika Sandow.
Her findings show that expanding work regions primarily benefit the careers of men, and continued increases in long-distance commuting may preserve and reinforce gender differences in the home and on the job market. At the same time, those (few) women who do commute long distances gain new career opportunities and higher pay.
But, as Erika Sandow points out, previous studies have shown that women who commute long distances experience more stress and time pressure, and feel less successful in their work, than men who commute.
A major proportion of long-distance commuters have small children and are well established in certain place. Most of those who start commuting continue to do so, and more than half have been commuting for at least five years. With time, these commuters learn to adapt, according to Erika Sandow, and experience makes it easier to create strategies for making things work out. But the situation is not one that everyone can stand in the long run. The findings indicate that long-distance commuters run a 40 percent higher risk of separating than other people do, and it’s the first years of long-distance commuting that are the most trying for a relationship.
Even though expanding job market regions are good for growth, there are social costs tied to long travel times that should be factored into the debate about broader regions, Erika Sandow emphasizes.
– We don’t know what long-distance commuting will lead to in the long run and what price we’ll have to pay for economic growth. It’s important to highlight the social consequences that commuting entails. For instance, how are children affected by growing up with one or both parents commuting long distances to work?
Dissertation: On the road. Social aspects of commuting long distances to work.
For more information, please contact: Erika Sandow, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Tel: +46 (0)90-786 5902; mobile: +46 (0)70-256 69 30 E-mail: email@example.com
Camilla Nilsson | idw
Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung
Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
05.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Life Sciences
08.12.2017 | Information Technology
08.12.2017 | Information Technology