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Do employment centers matter? Consequences for commuting distance in the Los Angeles region, 2002–2019

Authors
  • Ha, Jaehyun
  • Lee, Sugie
  • Kim, Jae Hong
  • Hipp, John R
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Source
eScholarship - University of California
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

The presence of employment centers provides the potential for reducing commuting distance. However, employment centers have distinct attributes, which may lead to varied impacts on commuting outcomes. We examine how proximity to employment centers can influence commuting distance with consideration of the heterogeneity of employment centers and workers. Specifically, we consider various attributes of employment centers related to location, persistency, job density, industry diversity, and size and analyze their impacts on the commuting patterns of low- and high-income workers using panel (2002-2019) data. Our analysis of the Los Angeles region shows that increasing proximity to the nearest employment center decreases commuting distance even after controlling for the job attributes located in the neighborhood of workers. The results further suggest that employment centers are not equal in terms of their impact on commute distance and that their impact is different for commuters from different income groups. Our findings contribute to the literature by deciphering the location and attributes of employment centers that may exert a greater impact on commuting patterns.

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