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Items where Author is "Liu, Chen"

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Inequalities in the Commuting Burden: Institutional Constraints and Job-housing Relationships in Tianjin
The burden of commuting has been a key issue for urban transport equity in developing countries, and the inequality of the commuting burden is accompanied by the institutional aspect. Among the many institutional factors, the housing and employment institutions bring major impacts on individuals’ choices of accommodation and job, thus restrict commuting behaviour and job-housing relationships. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of employment and housing system constraints such as Hukou (a form of household registration in mainland China) and Danwei (the name of work unit or workplace in mainland China) in the unequal commuting burden taking Tianjin as an example. By distributing self-completed questionnaires among 400 Tianjin commuters and conducting semi-structured interviews with five of them, this study collects information about the commuters’ commuting patterns to understand how they balance job-housing relationships under institutional barriers. The results of multiple linear regression show that factors such as Hukou status, employment sector and housing source have a significant impact on commuting time. Some commuters are employed by Danweis or have Tianjin Hukou, so they can join the housing plans of Danwei, which means that Danweis provide some solutions for their accommodation so that their commute time is significantly decreased. Interviews found that institutional barriers constrained the job-housing balance of high-skilled immigrants, while local residents and low-skilled immigrants avoided institutional barriers by returning to Danwei housing and choosing informal housing separately. The study provides new evidence for which groups have suffered from the commuting burden caused by institutional barriers. In terms of improvement measures, commuters are looking forward to eliminating the legacy of Danweis’ housing benefits and achieving equal housing subsidies. At the same time,they appealed for improvements of housing benefits, the quality of public transport and mixed housing -workplace planning. This study finds that institutional discrimination causes social inequality in the commuting burden, which could continue to worsen unless unequal institution is eliminated. The findings can be used to assist planners and decision makers in developing effective strategies to promote sustainable urban development.

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