Essays on travel mode choice modeling: a discrete choice approach to the interactions between economic and behavioral theories

Abstract : The objective of this thesis is to incorporate aspects of psychology and behavioral economics theories in discrete choice models to promote a better understanding of mode choice at regional level. Part I presents the data collected in a choice experiment survey. Part II examines the inclusion of latent variables to explain mode choice. A literature review of integrated choice and latent variable models – that is, models combining a structural equation model and a discrete choice model – is followed by the estimation of an integrated choice and latent variable model to show how the heterogeneity of economic outputs (here, value of time) can be explained with latent variables (here, perceived comfort in public transport) and observable variables (here, the guarantee of a seat). The simulation of scenarios shows, however, that the economic gain (decrease in value of time) is higher when policies address tangible factors than when they address latent factors. On the basis of a mediation model, the estimation of a structural equation model furthermore implies that the influence of environmental concern on mode choice habits is partially mediated by the indirect utility derived from public transport use. Part III examines two utility formulations taken from behavioral economics: 1) rank-dependent utility to model risky choices, and 2) reference-dependent utility. Firstly, a rank-dependent utility model is included in discrete choice models and, in particular, a latent-class model, in order to analyze intra- and inter-individual heterogeneity when the travel time is subject to variability. The results show that the probability of a delay is over-estimated for train travel and under-estimated for car travel, especial,ly for car users, as train users are more likely to take into account the expected travel time. In the models that account for risk aversion, the utility functions are convex, which implies a decrease in value of time. Secondly, a new family of discrete choice models generalizing the multinomial logit model, the reference models, is estimated. On my data, these models allow for a better selection of explanatory variables than the multinomial logit model and a more robust estimation of economic outputs, particularly in cases of high unobserved heterogeneity. The economic formulation of reference models shows that the best empirical models are also more compatible with Tversky et Kahneman’s reference-dependent model.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 10:06:03 AM
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Hélène Bouscasse. Essays on travel mode choice modeling: a discrete choice approach to the interactions between economic and behavioral theories. Economies and finances. Université Louis Lumière - Lyon II, 2017. English. ⟨tel-01661687⟩

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