Publication Detail

The Seoul of Alonso: New Perspectives on Telecommuting and Residential Location from South Korea

UCD-ITS-RP-12-108

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Suggested Citation:
Mokhtarian, Patricia L., Seung-Nam Kim, Kun-Hyuck Ahn (2012) The Seoul of Alonso: New Perspectives on Telecommuting and Residential Location from South Korea. Urban Geography 33 (8), 1163 - 1191

Although theoretical studies have contended that telecommuting could cause residential relocation to peripheral areas, empirical evidence regarding this argument is scant and inconclusive. Moreover, previous studies have given little consideration to telecommuters' job locations. Using data from the 2006 Seoul Metropolitan Area Household Travel Survey, this study investigates the relationships between telecommuting and residential location, considering job location. Regression results suggest that telecommuter households are indeed more likely to reside in outlying areas, consistent with theory. However, this does not necessarily mean that telecommuting facilitates living in outlying areas, nor, conversely, that long commutes stimulate telecommuting: causality cannot be established with these data. But contrary to both hypotheses, the result partially arises from the fact that firms allowing telecommuting also tend to be located in peripheral areas, with telecommuters having shorter commute distances compared to office workers. Consequently, issues regarding telesprawl need to be discussed considering the distribution of telecommuting-conducive occupations.