The role of residential self-selection in land use-travel research: a review of recent findings

Xiaodong Guan, Donggen Wang*, Xinyu Jason Cao

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Residential self-selection (RSS) is an important concern in the land use-travel research. Although many studies have addressed RSS during the past two decades, empirical results are inconsistent in terms of the existence, magnitude, and direction of self-selection bias. Moreover, recent studies substantiated other plausible associations within the theoretical framework of RSS, such as the endogeneity of travel attitudes. These further complicate the role of RSS in the land use-travel relationship. To improve understanding, this paper summarises recent progress in the RSS research, especially the studies published in the last decade. Specifically, we review three types of influences among the built environment, attitudes, and travel behaviour, and discuss unsolved problems within each type. We also discuss measurement issues of the built environment and attitudes in the RSS research. Because attitudes could be confounders, moderators, and mediators of the link between the built environment and travel behaviour, we recommend panel data with at least three waves of household travel surveys to address the complicated influences of attitudes. Future research needs to be more process-oriented to better understand the nature of RSS and its complex roles in the land use-travel research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267-287
    Number of pages21
    JournalTransport Reviews
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Transportation

    User-Defined Keywords

    • attitude
    • built environment
    • causality
    • Residential sorting
    • travel behaviour


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