This paper tests a group decision-making model to examine the school travel behavior of students 6-18 years old in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area. The school trip information of 1,737 two-parent families with a student is extracted from Travel Behavior Inventory data collected by the Metropolitan Council between the Fall 2010 and Spring 2012. The proposed model has four distinct characteristics including: (1) considering the student explicitly in the model, (2) allowing for bargaining or negotiation within households, (3) quantifying the intra-household interaction among family members, and (4) determining the decision weight function for household members. This framework also covers a household with three members, namely, a father, a mother, and a student, and unlike other studies it is not limited to dual-worker families. To test the hypotheses we developed two models, each with and without the group-decision approach. The models are separately developed for different age groups, namely students 6-12 and 12-18 years old. This study considered a wide range of variables such as work status of parents, age and gender of students, mode of travel, and distance to school. The findings of this study demonstrate that the elasticities of the two modeling approaches differ not only in the value, but in the sign in some cases. In 63 percent of the cases the unitary household model underestimates the results. More precisely, the elasticities of the unitary household model are as large as 2 times more than that of the group-decision model in 20 percent of cases. This is a direct consequence of model misspecification that misleads both long- and short-term policies where the intra-household bargaining and interaction is overlooked in travel behavior models.
Ermagun, Alireza; Levinson, David M.
Intra-household Bargaining for School Trip Accompaniment of Children: A Group Decision Approach.
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