Publication Detail

A Comparative Analysis of Time Use Data in the Netherlands and California


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Kitamura, Ryuichi, John P. Robinson, Thomas F. Golob, Mark Bradley, John Leonard, Toon van der Hoorn (1992) A Comparative Analysis of Time Use Data in the Netherlands and California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-92-09

Initial results of a comparative study of Dutch and California time use patterns are presented. The primary objective of this study is to gain a more fundamental understanding of travel behavior by comparing time use patterns among individuals who reside in the two different travel environments. Statistical results indicate that time allocation to activities and temporal distribution of activities both differ substantially between the Netherlands and California.

Analysis of variance has offered consistent indications that workers' paid-work duration and commute duration are both significantly associated with their daily time use; work duration is negatively associated with workers' activity durations of not only highly discretionary activities but also maintenance and subsistence activities. Most notably, work duration is negatively correlated with non-work travel duration. The main effect of locale is highly significant for most activity types, supporting the observation that time use patterns are different between the two locales.

Characteristics of workers' time use are further examined by testing the hypothesis of proportional time allocation and examining the constancy and proportionality of travel time budgets (as time expenditures). Sex, age, marital status and locale are used as additional explanatory factors in the analysis. This empirical analysis has shown that the hypothesis of proportional time allocation does not hold for most activities.

The examination of the proportionality of travel time expenditure has indicated that a worker's total travel time budget is proportional to the amount of non-work time available, defined as 24 hours less work duration. The results further suggest that the proportion of time spent for non-work travel is extremely sensitive to time availability; those who have shorter work durations seem to have larger proportions of available time spent on non-work travel, for such non-work activities as shopping and errands and leisure. The effect of locale is found to be insignificant in the analysis of proportionality in time allocation.