Student commute time, university presence and academic achievement

M.B.W. Kobus, P. Rietveld, J.N. van Ommeren

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We develop a theoretical model which predicts that students with a longer commute time (i) visit the university less often, but (ii) conditional on visiting on a given day, they stay longer. Perhaps more surprisingly, this model also predicts that (iii) the weekly hours present does not depend on commute time, while (iv) academic achievement falls with commute time. We show that these predictions are true for Dutch university students. To be specific, it appears that an additional hour of one-way commute time induces students to reduce their presence by 0.65. days per week. When present, students with an additional hour of commute time stay 52. min longer. The total time present per week therefore hardly depends on commute time. Our results consistently show that students with long commute times have less good average grades. Our results indicate a strong and statistically significant decrease in average grades with commute time, however, a decrease in study grades which is much smaller (or even close to negligible) cannot be ruled out either.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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