On modeling telecommuting behavior : option, choice and frequency
The current study contributes to the already substantial scholarly literature on telecommuting by estimating a joint model of three dimensions- option, choice and frequency of telecommuting. In doing so, we focus on workers who are not self-employed workers and who have a primary work place that is outside their homes. The unique methodological features of this study include the use of a general and flexible generalized hurdle count model to analyze the precise count of telecommuting days per month, and the formulation and estimation of a model system that embeds the count model within a larger multivariate choice framework. The unique substantive aspects of this study include the consideration of the "option to telecommute" dimension and the consideration of a host of residential neighborhood built environment variables. The 2009 NHTS data is used for the analysis, and allows us to develop a current perspective of the process driving telecommuting decisions. This data set is supplemented with a built environment data base to capture the effects of demographic, work-related, and built environment measures on the telecommuting-related dimensions. In addition to providing important insights for policy analysis, the results in this study indicate that ignoring the "option" dimension of telecommuting can, and generally will, lead to incorrect conclusions regarding the behavioral processes governing telecommuting decisions. The empirical results have implications for transportation planning analysis as well as for the worker recruitment/retention and productivity literature.