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Exploring the connections among residential location, self-selection, and driving: Propensity score matching with multiple treatments

  • Cao, Xinyu (Jason)
  • Xu, Zhiyi
  • Fan, Yingling
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    A large number of studies have investigated the association between the built environment and travel behavior. However, most studies did not explicitly quantify the contribution of residential self-selection to the connection. Using the 2006 data collected from a regional travel diary in Raleigh, NC, this study applies propensity score matching to explore the effects of the regional location of individuals' residences on their vehicle miles driven. We found that residential location plays a more important role in affecting driving behavior than residential self-selection; and that the self-selection effect is non-trivial when we compare driving behavior between urban residents and people living in other areas. Therefore, for such comparisons, the observed influence of residential locations on driving should be appropriately discounted when we evaluate the causal impacts of the built environment on travel behavior.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 10 (December)
    Pages: 797-805

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:44:y:2010:i:10:p:797-805
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    1. Bagley, Michael N & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2001. "The impact of residential neighborhood type on travel behavior: A structural equations modeling approach," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt12q634n2, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Xinyu (Jason) Cao, 2010. "Exploring causal effects of neighborhood type on walking behavior using stratification on the propensity score," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(2), pages 487-504, February.
    3. Frank, Lawrence Douglas & Saelens, Brian E. & Powell, Ken E. & Chapman, James E., 2007. "Stepping towards causation: Do built environments or neighborhood and travel preferences explain physical activity, driving, and obesity?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(9), pages 1898-1914, November.
    4. Xinyu (Jason) Cao, 2009. "Disentangling the influence of neighborhood type and self-selection on driving behavior: an application of sample selection model," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 207-222, March.
    5. Salon, Deborah, 2006. "Cars and the City: An Investigation of Transportation and Residential Location Choices in New York City," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1br223vz, University of California Transportation Center.
    6. Brownstone, David & Golob, Thomas F., 2009. "The impact of residential density on vehicle usage and energy consumption," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 91-98, January.
    7. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Cao, Xinyu, 2008. "Examining the impacts of residential self-selection on travel behavior: A focus on methodologies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 204-228, March.
    8. Crane, Randall & Crepeau, Richard, 1998. "Does Neighborhood Design Influence Travel?: Behavioral Analysis of Travel Diary and GIS Data," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4pj4s7t8, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Daniel G Chatman, 2009. "Residential choice, the built environment, and nonwork travel: evidence using new data and methods," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(5), pages 1072-1089, May.
    10. Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What if You Live in the Wrong Neighborhood? The Impact of Residential Neighborhood Type Dissonance on Distance Traveled," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5hh713d6, University of California Transportation Center.
    11. Bhat, Chandra R. & Eluru, Naveen, 2009. "A copula-based approach to accommodate residential self-selection effects in travel behavior modeling," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 749-765, August.
    12. Cervero, Robert & Duncan, Michael, 2003. "Walking, Bicycling, and Urban Landscapes: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6zr1x95m, University of California Transportation Center.
    13. Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What Affects Commute Mode Choice: Neighborhood Physical Structure or Preferences Toward Neighborhoods?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4nq9r1c9, University of California Transportation Center.
    14. Robert Cervero, 2007. "Transit-oriented development’s ridership bonus: a product of self-selection and public policies," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(9), pages 2068-2085, September.
    15. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Program Heterogeneity And Propensity Score Matching: An Application To The Evaluation Of Active Labor Market Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 205-220, May.
    16. Ron N. Buliung & Pavlos S. Kanaroglou, 2006. "Urban Form and Household Activity-Travel Behavior," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 172-199.
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