RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2023-02

RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2023-02


Gender Gap and Parenthood Penalties in Business Travel from 2001 to 2017: Occupational Variations and Associations with Technology Use


This paper evaluates transitions in gender differences and parenthood penalties in the chance of business travel, focusing on variations by occupation and technology usage. Although literature documents that women and parents of small children are substantially less likely to travel for business, particularly long ones, little research has explored changes in the gap. Moreover, not much attention has been given to whether they vary by business travel distance, occupation, or technology adaptations. This study analyzes domestic intra-regional business travel likelihood by different distance thresholds, using three U.S. National Household Travel Surveys from 2001 to 2017. By employing the Probit model, our analysis finds narrowing gender gaps and parenthood penalties in business mobility, thanks to the shrinking travel needs. Internet-savvy workers, in particular, experienced narrower gender gaps, especially among those without small children. The conditional prediction suggests a disappearing gender gap and parenthood gap for the sales and service workers, even for trips over 50 miles per day. Contrary, the gender gap in business mobility among the professional and managerial workers persistently remained in 2017 for long-distance trips. The declining trend in the gender gap and parenthood penalty for the business travel likelihood is a vital sign for reducing inequalities and work-life balances.


Business travel; Gender gap; Internet (non) savvy; ICT development

JEL Classification

R4, J16


Center for iPS Cell Research and Applicaton, Kyoto University

Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration,
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
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