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Well-being and activity-based models

  • Maya Abou-Zeid


  • Moshe Ben-Akiva
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    We present empirical and theoretical analyses to investigate the relationship between happiness (or subjective well-being) and activity participation and develop a framework for using well-being data to enhance activity-based travel demand models. The overriding hypothesis is that activities are planned and undertaken to satisfy needs so as to maintain or enhance subjective well-being. The empirical analysis consists of the development of a structural equations exploratory model of activity participation and happiness using data from a cross-sectional survey of a sample of commuters. The model reveals significant correlations between happiness and behavior for different types of activities: higher propensity of activity participation is associated with greater activity happiness and greater satisfaction with travel to the activity. The theoretical analysis consists of the development of a modeling framework and measures for the incorporation of well-being within activity-based travel demand models. The motivation is that activity pattern models have been specified in ad-hoc ways in practice as a function of mobility, lifestyle, and accessibility variables. We postulate that well-being is the ultimate goal of activity patterns which are driven by needs and propose two extensions of activity pattern models. The first extension consists of the use of well-being measures as indicators of the utility of activity patterns (in addition to the usual choice indicators) within a random utility modeling framework. The second extension models conceptually the behavioral process of activity generation based on needs satisfaction. We present an example of an operational activity pattern model and propose well-being measures for enhancing it. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Transportation.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 (November)
    Pages: 1189-1207

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:39:y:2012:i:6:p:1189-1207
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    1. Adler, Thomas & Ben-Akiva, Moshe, 1979. "A theoretical and empirical model of trip chaining behavior," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 243-257, September.
    2. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
    3. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:375-405 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cecilia Bergstad & Amelie Gamble & Tommy Gärling & Olle Hagman & Merritt Polk & Dick Ettema & Margareta Friman & Lars Olsson, 2011. "Subjective well-being related to satisfaction with daily travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-15, January.
    6. Abou-Zeid, Maya & Ben-Akiva, Moshe, 2011. "The effect of social comparisons on commute well-being," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 345-361, May.
    7. Spinney, Jamie E.L. & Scott, Darren M. & Newbold, K. Bruce, 2009. "Transport mobility benefits and quality of life: A time-use perspective of elderly Canadians," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-11, January.
    8. Alan B. Krueger, 2007. "Are We Having More Fun Yet? Categorizing and Evaluating Changes in Time Alloction," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(2), pages 193-218.
    9. Ettema, Dick & Gärling, Tommy & Olsson, Lars E. & Friman, Margareta, 2010. "Out-of-home activities, daily travel, and subjective well-being," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 723-732, November.
    10. Bowman, J. L. & Ben-Akiva, M. E., 2001. "Activity-based disaggregate travel demand model system with activity schedules," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-28, January.
    11. Walker, Joan & Ben-Akiva, Moshe, 2002. "Generalized random utility model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 303-343, July.
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