Differences in commuting between employee and self-employed workers: The case of Latin America

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour


Commuting time, Self-employment, Latin America, ECAF data


Commuting time represents a shock to worker time allocations that ultimately affects wellbeing. This paper analyzes the commuting behavior of employee and self-employed workers in urban areas of eleven Latin American countries. Using data from the ECAF data, results show that employees spend about 8.2 more minutes commuting to work than their self-employed counterparts, net of observable characteristics, a difference of around 18.5% of the employees' commuting time. This difference is qualitatively robust across the eleven countries and is concentrated in commutes by public transit, but is not explained by differences in access to public transit services. This analysis is a first cross-country exploration of self-employed and employee workers' commuting time in Latin America. By analyzing differences in commuting time between these two groups of workers, our analysis may serve to guide future planning programs.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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