Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Variations in the rational use of time – The travel pulse of commutes between home and job

Contents:

Author Info

  • William Michelson

    ()
    (Department of Sociology University of Toronto, Canada)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Ian Cullen and his research colleagues long ago suggested that people form habits in daily life that suboptimize behavior in view of constraints. Such rational suboptimization is posited here to apply to trips between home and work and to vary by time of the day. Previous research suggests that afternoons prove more difficult for people than mornings, with rush hour traffic patterns shown as one aspect. This paper contrasts with episode level data from Statistics Canada’s 2005 time-use survey the temporal pattern (shown as a “travel pulse”) of weekday commutes between home and job by full-time workers with external workplaces. The mean trip duration in the morning is less than in the afternoon, as is its standard deviation. This is rooted in a visibly greater dispersion of rational starting times from home in the morning with arrival at work at various times in advance of the start to the formal work day, while, in the afternoon, people typically depart from work directly at externally-determined closing times and in concentrated peaks. The result is that nearly twice the number of commuters set out at the same time during the afternoons than in the mornings. The less than individually-rational intensity of the afternoon commuting context is compounded by the concentration of everyday shopping stops during the afternoon commute. Mode of travel accounts for significantly different mean trip times, but differences in trip duration by time of day transcend travel mode. Differences by gender interact with mode of travel but are not generally significant. The rich legacy established by Andrew Harvey is apparent, as he has been an influential shaper and advocate of the Statistics Canada’s time-use surveys, the use of such data for transportation analyses, and a focus on episode-level analysis.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/eijtur/pdf/volumes/eijtur-6-2.pdf#page=108
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR) in its journal electronic International Journal of Time Use Research.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 269-285

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2009:vol6:issue2:p269-285

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/repec/leu/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Rationality; suboptimization; commuting; time of day; travel mode; gender;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Andrew Harvey, 1993. "Guidelines for time use data collection," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-228, November.
    2. Kay Axhausen & Andrea Zimmermann & Stefan Schönfelder & Guido Rindsfüser & Thomas Haupt, 2002. "Observing the rhythms of daily life: A six-week travel diary," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 95-124, May.
    3. Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 1988. "Historical changes in the household division of labor," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 537-552, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2009:vol6:issue2:p269-285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Merz).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.