The multiplicity of self-selection: What do travel attitudes influence first, residential location or work place?

Xiaodong Guan, Donggen Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Residential self-selection has been widely considered as an important issue in quantifying the impacts of the residential built environment on travel behavior and much empirical evidence regarding the nature and magnitude of the self-selection effect has been reported. Nevertheless, people may be based on travel attitudes/needs to self-select not only residential location, but also work place, car ownership, etc. In other words, the impacts of long-term decisions other than residential location choices (e.g., decisions on work place, car ownership, etc.) on travel behavior may also be biased by the self-selection effect. However, self-selection concerning these long-term decisions has not been explored much in the travel behavior literature. The role of residential self-selection would not be properly evaluated if self-selections concerning other long-term decisions were not considered because they are often related. This paper addresses this research gap in the travel behavior literature by exploring the multiplicity of travel-based self-selection. We jointly examine the possible self-selections concerning residential location, workplace, commuting distance and car ownership in an integrated framework, taking into consideration the interrelationships among these decisions. Data are derived from an activity-travel diary survey conducted in 2016 in Beijing, China. We classify the respondents into two groups based on the choice order of their current residential and work locations and conduct a comparative analysis using structural equation models. It is found that self-selection exists in all long-term choices examined in the study. The choices of residential location and work place are found to be mutually dependent. Consequently, both choices have indirect impacts on travel behavior through the other choice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102809
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Residential location
  • Self-selection
  • Travel attitudes
  • Travel behavior
  • Work place


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