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The role of location in residential location choice models: a review of literature


  • Schirmer, Patrick

    () (Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT))

  • van Eggermond, Michael

    () (Future Cities Laboratory)

  • Axhausen, Kay

    () (Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT))


Geospatial data available to researchers has increased tremendously over the last several decades, opening up opportunities to define residential location in multiple ways. This has led to a myriad of variables to define "location'' in residential location choice models. In this paper, we propose a common classification for location variables and categorize findings from a wide range of studies. We find similar preferences but different measurement methods and market segments for locations across different study regions. Recent studies consider the residential unit as choice alternative, making it possible to include a detailed description of the built environment. However, these studies are still limited in number and the inclusion of socioeconomic environment is more common. Transport land-use models can benefit from the inclusion of points of interest, such as schools, network distances, and the distance to previous locations. For the results of location choice models to be transferable to different disciplines, and avoid multi-collinearity, it is necessary to present different model specifications, including variables of interest in different disciplines.

Suggested Citation

  • Schirmer, Patrick & van Eggermond, Michael & Axhausen, Kay, 2014. "The role of location in residential location choice models: a review of literature," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 7(2), pages 3-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jtralu:0126

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Palma, Andre & Picard, Nathalie & Waddell, Paul, 2007. "Discrete choice models with capacity constraints: An empirical analysis of the housing market of the greater Paris region," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 204-230, September.
    2. Mark Andrew & Geoffrey Meen, 2006. "Population structure and location choice: A study of London and South East England," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(3), pages 401-419, August.
    3. Joan Walker & Jieping Li, 2007. "Latent lifestyle preferences and household location decisions," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 77-101, April.
    4. Moshe Ben-Akiva & John L. Bowman, 1998. "Integration of an Activity-based Model System and a Residential Location Model," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(7), pages 1131-1153, June.
    5. Brian Lee & Paul Waddell, 2010. "Residential mobility and location choice: a nested logit model with sampling of alternatives," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 587-601, July.
    6. Abdul Pinjari & Ram Pendyala & Chandra Bhat & Paul Waddell, 2011. "Modeling the choice continuum: an integrated model of residential location, auto ownership, bicycle ownership, and commute tour mode choice decisions," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 933-958, November.
    7. Jae Hong Kim & Francesca Pagliara & John Preston, 2005. "The Intention to Move and Residential Location Choice Behaviour," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 42(9), pages 1621-1636, August.
    8. Löchl, Michael & Axhausen, Kay W., 2010. "Modelling hedonic residential rents for land use and transport simulation while considering spatial effects," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 3(2), pages 39-63.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beck, Matthew J. & Hess, Stephane & Cabral, Manuel Ojeda & Dubernet, Ilka, 2017. "Valuing travel time savings: A case of short-term or long term choices?," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 133-143.
    2. Scott, Darren & H. Y. Lee, Brian & Miller, Eric, 2014. "Special section: Innovations in location choice modeling underlying activity-travel behavior," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 7(2), pages 1-2.

    More about this item


    residential location choice; discrete choice; land-use; location;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General


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