Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling
Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy
Chapter 6: Long-distance telephone calls, media endowment and contact network: An empirical study
6. Long-distance telephone calls, media endowment and contact network: An empirical study Rico Maggi and Alessandro Cento 1. THE PROBLEM The evidence presented in this chapter stems from a broader research project into the determinants of the adoption and use of new media. More speciﬁcally, we analyse the inﬂuence of economic factors, individual attitudes and contact networks. In order to understand individual behaviour with respect to new media, it seems useful to analyse behaviour with respect to existing media ﬁrst, taking the same frame of reference. As a consequence, we concentrate in a ﬁrst step on the analysis of telephone use. The endowment (represented by equipment) enters only in the form of exogenous variables representing an individual’s past decisions. While the adoption and use of new media is often treated as something totally new, here it is proposed to conceive of it as a new behaviour with respect to the same thing (that is, telecommunication). Telecommunication as an activity is hence at the centre of interest of this study. In the vein of the literature on household production (see Muellbauer, 1974; Epple, 1987), telecommunication can be ‘produced’ by the individual in different ways in order to maximize utility. Telecommunication here includes all forms (one-way, two-way, any medium) of non-mass communication for any purpose (tele-shopping, tele-commuting, simple phone conversations, and so on). The advantage with this perspective is that demand for new media depends on the way an individual intends to use them for ‘producing telecommunication’. An individual can...
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