Spatial, Temporal, and Economic Variation in Mobility: A Gender Perspective
Keita, Yaye Mallon
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Gender inequality is present in most societies. Despite much progress, women are still unevenly positioned in regards to things such as division of household duties, pay at work, and safety. These and other inequalities act together to shape women's travel decisions. In this dissertation, I aim to contribute to the literature on gender and transportation by exploring how unequal division of household duties, economic inequity, as well as macro-economic crisis are affecting the mobility of women in the U.S. In particular, the dissertation explores three main questions. The first question investigates how gender affects workday and non-workday activity spaces. By investigating how intra-personal geographies change, it seeks to unravel the gender based pressures that lead to variations in daily geographies between men and women. The second question examines how economic constraints faced by women, especially by women with children, impacted their transportation spending before and during the recession. The analysis looks at shifts in average household expenditures as well as the overall expenditure distribution by using quantile regression method. A comparison of expenditures before and during the recession highlights how bare-bones the expenditures on transportation were for those at the lower tail of the expenditure distribution even in "good" times. The third question expands on the expenditure analysis and seeks to understand how women headed households apportion expenditures on food, housing, and transport. It also looks into how these apportionments were impacted by the recession. The findings from these analyses underscore the gendered nature of mobility and its spatial and economic dimensions. The work also identifies specific areas for policy intervention.