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The utility of travelling when destinations are heterogeneous. How much better is the next destination as one travels further?


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  • P. Rietveld


  • S. van Woudenberg


In many studies travel behaviour (for example, commuting) is analysed on the basis of a utility function with the distance (d) travelled as one of the arguments. An example is U=U(d,Y-cd,T-td) where Y and T denote money and time constraints, and c and t money and time costs per unit distance. This standard approach is not without problems, however, since it ignores the fundamental fact that most transport has a derived character: travelling kilometres is not an activity that gives utility per se, but only because these kilometres bring people to certain places they want to visit. In this paper we develop a method that provides a justification for utility functions such as shown here by showing that these can be made consistent with theories that take into account the derived character of transport. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Geographical Systems.

Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (08)
Pages: 207-222

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jgeosy:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:207-222

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Keywords: rectangular city; commuting; distance distributions; C15; R14; R41;

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Cited by:
  1. Piet Rietveld, 2010. "The Economics of Information in Transport," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-110/3, Tinbergen Institute.


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