Chapter 16: Discrete choice decision-making with multiple decision-makers within the household
Different research streams concerned with household decision-making have developed independently in different disciplines. The corresponding papers consider topics such as labour supply, transportation decisions, time and task allocation, or residential and employment choices. Literature in these fields has been dominated by models in which the household is treated as a single decision-making unit or unitary models (see Timmermans, 2009, for an extensive review on past research in the transportation literature, Vermeulen, 2002a and 2002b for a literature review on unitary and collective household models, and Bianchi and Robinson, 1997, for a sociological study of time use within the household). In collective models, the different household members are engaged in a joint decision process involving bargaining. Until recently, interactions within the household were not explicitly modelled and the decision-making process outcome was considered as resulting from a representative individual (as if the household were a black box which needs not to be opened). In such models, household interactions were either introduced through explanatory variables defined at the household level, or simply disregarded in models of activity-travel demand (see Srinivasan and Bhat, 2005). Examples of household-level explanatory variables like number of household members, of active members, of children, household income and other household dummy variables (for example, occupational status, property status, and age) are provided in Townsend (1987) or in Golob and McNally (1997), among others.
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