SMABS 2004 Jena University
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European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

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Contributions: Abstract

Does Money Matter? A mixture growth model to explain travel-mode choice with experimental data

Eldad Davidov Peter Schmidt Sebastian Bamberg
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Kajsa Yang Hansen       Jan-Eric Gustafsson
Gothenburg University

In the present paper we apply a growth mixture model using Mplus via STREAMS to delineate the mechanism underlying travel-mode choice. Three waves of an experimental field study conducted in Frankfurt Main, Germany, are used for the statistical analysis. Five major questions are addressed: (1) whether the choice of public transport rather than the car changes over time; (2) whether a soft policy intervention such as information to change travel-mode choice has any effect on behavior; (3) whether one can identify different classes of people regarding the importance allocated to monetary and time considerations for the decision which travel-mode to use; (4) whether such a latent class variable has an effect on the growth model; (5) whether background socio-demographic variables have an additional effect on that latent class variable, and on the growth model.

We find that behavior in our study is stable over time. Moreover, the intervention has no effect on behavior. Nevertheless, we identify two classes of individuals. One class allocates high importance to both monetary and time consideration, while the other one attributes a higher significance to time. The latent class variable has a differential effect across classes on the slope and on the intercept of the growth model. Controlling for these effects, availability of a car and education level have an additional and significant effect on both the latent class variable and the growth model. The findings are discussed in light of Gary Becker's theory on the allocation of time.