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The Asymmetry of the Change in Household Car Ownership and Utilization: A Panel Analysis

UCD-ITS-RP-89-09

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Using three types of car ownership models, this analysis offers evidence that factors influencing car ownership have asymmetric effects and that car ownership behavior cannot be explained by contemporaneous factors alone. The values of contributing factors in previous periods are at least as important as their values observed concurrently with the behavior. This can be interpreted as an indication of response lags in car ownership behavior. It suggests that car ownership reflects the household's long-term considerations rather than short-term responses to changes. In addition, the analysis has shown that car utilization is also asymmetric, but responds more spontaneously to changes in household attributes than does car ownership.

This study demonstrates the importance of dynamic viewpoints in the analysis of car ownership. The indication that change in car ownership and utilization is asymmetric implies that models developed on the sole basis of cross-sectional data may erroneously depict the sensitivity of travel behavior to change in policy parameters. The study results warrant further dynamic analysis of car ownership and mobility, including the investigation of the structure of response lags, exploration of alternative dynamic models such as Markovian models, and examination of history dependence in car ownership and utilization.
This paper is chapter 11 (pp 186 - 195) in an unidentifiable book.