Long-distance commuting has emerged as an alternative to migration to regulate spatial labour markets. Coupled to changes in the labour and housing market, technological advances have promoted long-distance commuting by reshaping the links between the spatial distribution of population and regional economies. While previous research has examined these links in developed countries, less is known about how these changes have played out in developing economies. Using micro-census data and regression analysis, this paper addresses this gap by examining how the contextual framework has shaped long-distance commuting in Chile. Results reveal that the nature and spatial distribution of mining and construction activities have been the primary mechanism to promote long-distance commuting in Chile. This contrasts with developed countries where, along with these activities, factors associated to the new service economy also comprise predominant forces promoting long-distance commuting, particularly across high skilled occupations.