Commuting, wages, commuting patterns, labor market theory


"This paper examines the effect commuting has on wages in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. As there is no major metropolitan area within commuting distance, commuting patterns are likely to differ from those found in and around large cities. Given these differences, prior research that has focused on national or metropolitan data may not be relevant to the region. The results suggest longer commutes are associated with higher pay, but the rate of compensation is significantly lower than estimates using metropolitan data. Furthermore, professionally qualified workers are not compensated for longer commutes. It is argued that professionally qualified workers have limited job opportunities within the town where they reside, thus may be forced to commute to find appropriate employment in their field. The analysis may be applicable to other regions of the American West that have similar labor market characteristics as the Black Hills. "

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