Public Transport and Urban Labor Market Integration: A Randomized Controlled Trial

A well-integrated citywide public transport network contributes to economic development by reducing transport costs and travel time, facilitating specialization of firms and workers, and decreasing the cost of economic transactions. Yet, despite increasing urbanization, many cities in developing countries suffer from a poorly connected public transport network, particularly in peri-urban areas. The challenges of limited public transportation affect women disproportionately in many settings, including Pakistan, primarily because of social taboos on women’s use of bicycles and motorcycles, and cultural and safety constraints. Researchers are testing the impact of a low-cost transport service—short feeder routes that link in to major transport lines—around Lahore, Pakistan. Feeder routes are a low-cost means of enhancing the effectiveness of existing investments such as the capital-intensive Bus Rapid Transit system in Lahore. One treatment arm of the study will offer a service reserved for women, which is particularly important since small wagons appropriate for feeder routes do not have room to accommodate a women’s compartment. Researchers will examine the effect of these routes on labor market outcomes as well as measures of female empowerment.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2014
  • Full project