Flexible Spatial Dependence Structures for Unordered Multinomial Choice Models: Formulation and Application to Teenagers’ Activity Participation
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The current paper proposes an approach to accommodate flexible spatial dependency structures in discrete choice models in general, and in unordered multinomial choice models in particular. The approach is applied to examine teenagers’ participation in social and recreational activity episodes, a subject of considerable interest in the transportation, sociology, psychology, and adolescence development fields. The sample for the analysis is drawn from the 2000 San Francisco Bay Area Travel Survey (BATS) as well as other supplementary data sources. The analysis considers the effects of a variety of built environment and demographic variables on teenagers’ activity behavior. In addition, spatial dependence effects (due to common unobserved residential neighborhood characteristics as well as diffusion/interaction effects) are accommodated. The variable effects indicate that parents’ physical activity participation constitutes the most important factor influencing teenagers’ physical activity participation levels, In addition, part-time student status, gender, and seasonal effects are also important determinants of teenagers’ social-recreational activity participation. The analysis also finds strong spatial correlation effects in teenagers’ activity participation behaviors.
At the time of publication I.N. Sener was at Texas Transportation Institute and C.R. Bhat was the University of Texas at Austin.