Roland Rathelot (U. Warwick) at the Economics Seminar

The next RITM Economics Seminar will take place on Monday 15october, in Gaudemet (Jean Monnet – 54 boulevard Desgranges – 92330 Sceaux) from 12:00 to 13:00. Roland Rathelot (U. Warwick) will present “On the Road Again? Gender differentials in reservation utility, wage and commuting distance” (with Thomas Le Barbanchon and Alexandra Roulet).

We document how gender differentials in wages and commuting time widen over the life-cycle. We relate this evidence to stated preferences of newly registered unemployed workers. We use a unique administrative dataset where we can match job seekers’ preferences on several dimensions of the job they are looking for — reservation wage, maximum commute, and working hours — to the precise characteristics of the jobs preceding and following their unemployment spell. We find that, controlling for previous job characteristics (including wages), unemployed women have a lower reservation wage (4%) and declare lower maximum commute than men (11%). This pattern is also more pronounced as age increases. Through the lens of a job search model where commuting matters, a sizeable share of the gender reservation wage gap can be accounted for by gender differences in the maximum accepted commuting time.
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