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Tradeoffs between Time Allocations to Maintenance Activities/Travel and Discretionary Activities/Travel


  • Cynthia Chen


  • Patricia Mokhtarian


This paper focuses on the tradeoff in time allocation between maintenance activities/travel and discretionary activities/travel. We recognize that people generally must travel a minimum amount of time in order to allocate one unit of time to the activity. This minimum amount of travel is represented by the travel time price, a ratio obtained by dividing the total amount of time traveling to maintenance or discretionary activities by the total amount of time spent on activities of the same type; it is the time equivalent of the monetary price for performing an activity. Using the San Francisco Bay Area 1996 Household Travel Survey data and applying the Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) of demand equations, we found that with respect to the time equivalent of income elasticities of maintenance and discretionary activities, the former is less than unity and the latter is greater than unity. In other words, maintenance activities are a necessity and discretionary activities are a luxury. With respect to the own travel time price elasticities, if the travel time price of performing a certain type of activity increases (for reasons such as traffic congestion), one would reduce the time allocated to that type of activity. Time spent on maintenance activities is less elastic than the time spent on discretionary activities. As for the cross travel time price elasticities (changes in time allocated to activity type i in responses to changes in the time price for activity type j), we found that ɛ dm >0 and ɛ md >0, suggesting a substitution effect between maintenance and discretionary activities. Copyright Springer 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Cynthia Chen & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2006. "Tradeoffs between Time Allocations to Maintenance Activities/Travel and Discretionary Activities/Travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 223-240, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:33:y:2006:i:3:p:223-240
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-005-2307-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evans, Alan W, 1972. "On the Theory of the Valuation and Allocation of Time," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcela Munizaga & Sergio Jara-Díaz & Javiera Olguín & Jorge Rivera, 2011. "Generating twins to build weekly time use data from multiple single day OD surveys," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 511-524, May.
    2. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:25-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jara-Díaz, Sergio & Rosales-Salas, Jorge, 2017. "Beyond transport time: A review of time use modeling," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 209-230.
    4. Pinjari, Abdul Rawoof & Bhat, Chandra, 2010. "A multiple discrete-continuous nested extreme value (MDCNEV) model: Formulation and application to non-worker activity time-use and timing behavior on weekdays," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 562-583, May.
    5. Yu Ding & Huapu Lu & Lei Zhang, 2016. "An analysis of activity time use on vehicle usage rationed days," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 145-158, January.
    6. Joly, I. & Vincent-Geslin, S., 2011. "Raisons et pratiques de la pendularité intensive : le temps de trajet, entre temps subi et temps choisi," Working Papers 201108, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    7. Donggen Wang & Fion Law, 2007. "Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on time use and travel behavior: a structural equations analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 513-527, July.
    8. Pinjari, Abdul Rawoof & Bhat, Chandra R. & Hensher, David A., 2009. "Residential self-selection effects in an activity time-use behavior model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 729-748, August.
    9. Joly, I., 2011. "Test of the relation between travel and activities times : different representations of a demand derived from activity participation," Working Papers 201103, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    10. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9749-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lee, Yuhwa & Washington, Simon & Frank, Lawrence D., 2009. "Examination of relationships between urban form, household activities, and time allocation in the Atlanta Metropolitan Region," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 360-373, May.
    12. Cynthia Chen & Jason Chen, 2009. "What is responsible for the response lag of a significant change in discretionary time use: the built environment, family and social obligations, temporal constraints, or a psychological delay factor?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 27-46, January.
    13. Susilo, Yusak O. & Hanks, Nathan & Ullah, Mahmud, 2013. "An exploration of shoppers travel mode choice in visiting convenience stores in the United Kingdom," Working papers in Transport Economics 2013:20, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    14. repec:eee:eejocm:v:26:y:2018:i:c:p:80-100 is not listed on IDEAS


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