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Symmetry and asymmetry in working and commuting arrangements between partners in the Netherlands: does the residential context matter?



Time spent on work and commuting within dual-earner households is often analysed separately for individuals, but this does no justice to the reality of dual-earner households where decisions on work and commuting are made in a household context. This paper reports on a quantitative study of the impact of the residential context on working arrangements and commuting arrangements of partners in couple and family households. Using multinomial logistic regression, we analysed data from the 2002 Netherlands Housing Demand Survey and the 2004 ABF Real Estate Monitor. The results show a (gendered) effect of residential location in terms of degree of urbanisation and job access on both working and commuting arrangements. Good access to jobs makes it more likely that couples have a symmetric full-time working arrangement and also more likely that both partners work far away from home. Those in symmetric full-time working arrangements are also those most likely to be in symmetric close commuting arrangements. This finding reflects the substantial time pressure on such households.

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