Does new information technology change commuting behavior?

Our paper Does new information technology change commuting behavior written together with Sergejs Gubins and Jos van Ommeren is accepted in the Annals of Regional Science. It turned out to be nice paper with an interesting main message: commuting in total did not change under the advent of ICT. Our identification is interesting, albeit that it hinges upon a very strong idenfitication assumption. Apart from ICT trend in change of commuting do not differ amongst sector-job combinations.

For those interested: until February 3, 2019, free e-Offprints (as PDF file) can be downloaded from here .

The abstract reads as follows:

We estimate the long-run causal effect of information technology, i.e., Internet and powerful computers, as measured by the adoption of teleworking, on average commuting distance within professions in the Netherlands. We employ data for 2 years, 1996 when information technology was hardly adopted and 2010 when information technology was widely used in a wide range of professions. Variation in information technology adoption over time and between professions allows us to infer the causal effect of interest using difference-in-differences techniques combined with propensity score matching. Our results show that the long-run causal effect of information technology on commuting distance is too small to be identified and likely to be absent. This suggests that, contrary to some assertions, the advent of information technology did not have a profound impact on the spatial structure of the labor market.

Thomas de Graaff
Associate professor in spatial economics

My research interests include network interactions, Bayesian multilevel models and reproducibility of research