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Dynamic life course analysis on residential location choice


  • Yu, Biying
  • Zhang, Junyi
  • Li, Xia


From a behavioral viewpoint, people choose where to live based on various factors, including their current situations, past experience, and plans for the future. Some aspects of residential preference might be constant over time, inherited from the initial stage of life, and other parts might be responses to residential biography or other biographical domains like household structure, employment/education, and travel. Capturing these intertemporal dependences needs a life course analysis of residential location choices. However, a serious methodological gap exists between the perceived importance of dynamic life course analyses and quantitative modeling approaches. This study developed a dynamic choice model with cross-sectional and longitudinal heterogeneities as well as discounted utility (called the DU-DCLH model) to describe the decision-making process for residential relocation by incorporating various intertemporal dependences over the life course. Model parameters were estimated using data collected from a life history survey conducted in Japan in 2010. The estimation results firstly confirm the effectiveness of the DU-DCLH model for portraying the dynamics of residential mobility over a life course. Next, it was found that previous experiences dominate decisions on residential location choice and can explain more than 75% of the total variations in choice. It was also revealed that as the mobility age increases, the influence of the past on their choices increases continuously. In contrast, the influence of the present situation is small and almost negligible. Furthermore, the study empirically confirmed not only the influence of time-constant and time-varying preference for residential neighborhoods but also the specific influence of household biography, employment/education biography, and travel biography. This study enriches the existing research by providing a systematic modeling framework incorporating broader behavioral mechanisms for residential location choice over the life course.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu, Biying & Zhang, Junyi & Li, Xia, 2017. "Dynamic life course analysis on residential location choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 281-292.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:281-292
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2017.01.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:kap:transp:v:46:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11116-018-9868-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:transp:v:46:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9848-1 is not listed on IDEAS


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