, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 63–101 | Cite as

Household decision making on commuting and the commuting paradox

  • Georg Hirte
  • Ulrike IllmannEmail author
Original Paper


This paper explores the commuting paradox in the context of two-partner households by estimating the relationship between the subjective well-being of spouses and their commuting distances. Some of the former literature has found evidence that individuals are not fully compensated for changes in commuting (the commuting paradox). We study unitary, cooperative, and non-cooperative decision-making models to explore which describes the household decision on commuting in the data. We use panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). The regressions show clear evidence for cooperative household decision making on commuting distances (time) and do not show evidence of the commuting paradox. These results are robust in several robustness checks, including alternative definitions of household utility.


Household decision Family decision Location theory Commuting distance Wage compensation Subjective well-being 

JEL Classification

D13 R41 



Funding for proofreading was provided by Program great!ipid4all supported by the DAAD and the Graduate Academy of TU Dresden.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Transport and Economics, Friedrich List Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Sciences, Technische Universität Dresden (Dresden University of Technology)DresdenGermany

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