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Reconsidering the Nature and Effects of Habits in Urban Transportation Behaviour

Listed author(s):
  • Olivier Brette

    (INSA Lyon
    CNRS Environnement Ville Société (EVS)
    University of Lyon)

  • Thomas Buhler

    (University of Franche-Comté
    CNRS ThéMA)

  • Nathalie Lazaric

    (GREDEG CNRS
    University of Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Kevin Marechal

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, CESSE-ULB
    Belgian National Fund for Research (FNRS))

This paper adds to the growing empirical evidence on the importance of habits in governing human behaviour, and sheds new light on individual inertia in relation to transportation behaviour. An enriched perspective rooted in Veblenian evolutionary economics (VEE) is used to construct a theoretical framework in order to analyse the processes at play in the formation and reinforcement of habits. The empirical study explores more specifically the synchronic processes strengthening the car-using habit. In addition to underlining the shortcomings of a ‘decision theory’ perspective to address urban transportation behaviours, we find that synchronic habits can have a significant effect on behavioural inertia. Our results suggest the existence of positive feedback between the development of synchronic habits, qualitative perceptions of driving times and reinforcement of the car-using habit. The paper points out also that the diachronic dimension of habits would constitute another promising domain for further research on behavioural inertia in transportation.

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File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2014-10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in its series GREDEG Working Papers with number 2014-10.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Institutional Economics
Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2014-10
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