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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-14689

Travel mode choice as a rational choice : different aspects

Verkehrsmittelwahl als eine Rationale Wahl : Unterschiedliche Aspekte

Davidov, Eldad

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Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Narrow/ wide versions of Rational choice, theory of Planned Behavior, Bridge/ auxiliary assumptions, latent curve/ autoregressive models, interactions
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Fachgebiet: Soziologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 12.03.2004
Erstellungsjahr: 2003
Publikationsdatum: 01.04.2004
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The PhD dissertation is a collection of chapters dealing with decision making in general, and with empirical testing of travel mode choice in particular. The papers take up theoretical, substantive and methodological issues, and combine theory and empirical work. Rational choice theory has been increasingly used in the social sciences in the last two decades. However, its impact on empirical research has been small. The following chapters discuss, on the one hand, different versions of rational choice. On the other hand, they address the critique of several authors, who have argued that rational choice theorists neglect empirical work. Green and Shapiro (1994) have argued that researchers investigating individual behaviour concentrate on theory elaboration rather than on theory testing. Opp (1998) and Simon (1985) have called to pursue the hard work, which is often not done, of testing rational action theory empirically. Furthermore, Goldthorpe (1998, p. 52) has pointed out that in present-day sociology rational action theory and the quantitative analysis of large-scale data sets are pursued largely in isolation from each other (see also Blossfeld and Prein, 1998). Apart from encouraging to test action theories with data (Goldthorpe 1998: 33), researchers have argued that it may develop changes in theory in light of contradictory empirical results (Becker 1996:156). From such a viewpoint it is apparent that for exploring the sociological mechanisms of individual choices in general, and in the context of travel mode choice in particular, an affinity between rational action theory and data is to their mutual benefits. Five of the following chapters test rational choice models empirically with different sets of data, and all of them discuss the bridge between data and theory, thus linking theory and data. All in all, the chapters contribute to a better link between theory and data in the context of travel mode choice. The substantive issue taken up is ecological behavior and decision making in the context of travel mode choice: what makes people choose transportation, which is friendlier towards the environment? Social scientists have been expected to contribute to a better understanding of environmentally related behavior in order to find ways to ecologically improve it on the aggregate level. The topic of mobility in this context has been an increasingly important one, due to its continuous growth in the last decades. People travel more, and use more often their car in comparison to earlier years, partially due to changes in lifestyle. Determinants of travel mode choice may be sociological, social psychological and economic in nature. I try to apply this interdisciplinary general approach in all of the following chapters. The methodological issue taken up deals with structural equation modeling applied especially on new techniques to test panel data and interaction effects. Indeed, as Goldthorpe (1998:50) has pointed out, advances in modelling and estimation techniques steadily improve the chances of making effective evaluations.