Understanding the Multiple Dimensions of Residential Choice




Fu, Xuemei
Bhat, Chandra R.
Pendyala, Ram M.
Vadlamani, Sravani
Garikapati, Venu M.

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The University of Texas at Austin


Residential choice may be characterized as a household’s simultaneous decisions of location, neighborhood, and dwelling. Traditional models do not account for the latent unmeasured constructs which capture individuals’ preferences for and attitudes towards residence and mode choice. This paper employs Bhat’s (2014) Generalized Heterogeneous Data Model (GHMD) to accommodate five inter-related residential choice dimensions, including residential location, neighborhood land-use pattern, public transportation availability, housing type, and dwelling ownership. Four latent variables including pro-driving, pro-public transportation, facility availability, and residential spaciousness are constructed to capture individuals’ attitudes towards travel modes and preferences for residential features. The inclusion of these latent constructs helps account for self-selection effects in residential choice processes. The determination of relationships among multiple dimensions of residential choice behavior, socio-demographics, and latent attitudes and preferences is critical to integrated land use – transport modeling and the formulation of policies as well as urban residential and neighborhood environments that cater to individual preferences and enhance quality of life.


At the time of publication, X. Fu was at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, C.R. Bhat at the University of Texas at Austin, R.M. Pendyala at Georgia Institute of Technology, S. Vladlamani and V.M Garikapati at Arizona State University.

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