How does commute duration affect subjective well-being? A case study of Chinese cities

Authors: Lin Jie*,
Topics: Transportation Geography, Behavioral Geography, China
Keywords: Commute duration, Subjective well-being, Influencing pathway, Urban China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Truman, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Previous research on the relationship between commute duration and subjective well-being (SWB) has paid little attention to developing countries and influencing pathways between them. Thus, in this study, we construct a conceptual model analyzing the relationships between commute duration and SWB, and then empirically explore the influencing pathways between commute duration and life satisfaction and emotional well-being in a sample of above 15-year-old working individuals in urban China. We find that the total effect of commute duration on life satisfaction is negative whereas the total effect of commute duration on emotional well-being is insignificant. Specifically, prolonged commute duration is negatively associated with health, job satisfaction and social capital, which leads to both lower life satisfaction and lower emotional well-being. In addition, compared with urban residents commuting by public transport, urban commuters who using private cars are more satisfied with their job and healthier, thereby have a high level of life satisfaction and emotional well-being. Urban policymakers should give more considerations to reduce traffic congestion, promote job and residential flexibility and public transport services in order to alleviate the negative influence of commute duration on SWB.

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