Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A simple empirical analysis on the link between socioeconomic status and spatial mobility

Keita, Moussa (2015): A simple empirical analysis on the link between socioeconomic status and spatial mobility.

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Abstract

Considering spatial mobility as an important dimension of human capability with direct implications for well-being, this study examines the link between individuals’ socioeconomic status and their degree of mobility. We use data from the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) conducted in United States in 2009 by the US Department of Transportation. We construct two complementary mobility variables: one translating the average distance individuals travel by day and the other capturing the average number of trips made by individuals in a day. Using both exploratory and multivariate linear regressions analyzes, our results show that socioeconomic status determines significantly individuals’ degree of mobility. We found that mobility is significantly higher among the most educated individuals and those with high income levels. It also appears strong heterogeneity in the mobility according to gender or individuals’ age. We found, in particular, that men are more mobile than women in terms of distance traveled. But conversely, women are much more mobile than men in terms of frequency of trips.

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