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SOURCE 2021: The Impact of Pay and Location on Commuting Decisions

Presentation Details

Title: The Impact of Pay and Location on Commuting Decisions

Presenters: Allison Bennett, Lindsey Brewer

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kimberly Kinsey Mannahan


Abstract: Driving to and from work is something the average human does almost every day of the week over the course of his or her lifetime. The time that a person has to commute to work as well as the amount that they are paid for that specific job can have an impact on that specific job. According to an empirical study, an improvement in job accessibility can shorten the commuting time for car users (Kawabata & Shen 2007). The average commute to work is getting longer each year. According to the census, in 2016 the average commute to work was a 26-minute drive, compared to in 1980 when the Census first started collecting this data it was 21.7 minutes (Ingraham 2019). Perhaps since the commuting time to work is increasing each year, people would be more likely to travel longer distances if they were offered an increase in pay. The purpose of this study is to investigate if a higher increased pay or lower increased pay for a new job opportunity will have an effect on a person in a rural area with limited traffic versus in an urban area with high traffic in regards to taking the job. The following hypotheses will be studied: Hypothesis one is participants would be more likely to take the job if the location was rural, low traffic than urban, high traffic. The second hypothesis is participants would be more likely to take the job if the pay increase was high versus low. Finally, the third hypothesis is we expect an interaction between location and pay increase on the likelihood of taking the job. 186 participants participated in the study (33 males, 152 Females, and 1 non-binary). This study involved participants receiving one of four scenarios; the participants could get a high increase in pay in a rural or urban area or a low increase in pay in an urban or rural area. They then answered 10 Likert-scale questions (e.g How likely would you be to enjoy the commute?). A One Way ANOVA revealed three significant items on the Commuting Attitudes Survey with regards to Location. Also, a one-way ANOVA revealed three significant items of the study with regards to Pay Increase. Hypothesis one and three were not supported by the data but further research may yield better results. Hypotheses two, however, was supported by the data, and this was supported by Clark et. al. (2000) who found that those who have to travel long distances for work did so due to being promised increased wages. Examining the interaction between pay and location will be important to see how it impacts certain areas of a person’s life such as the family dynamic and stress level.