Travel Behaviour
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Travel Behaviour

Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling

Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy

Travel Behaviour is a challenging and original volume, adding to the growing literature focusing on understanding transportation systems. The book capitalises on actual scientific and applied developments in Europe, the importance of EC policies and the resultant trend in studying differences between North American and European research.
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Chapter 6: Long-distance telephone calls, media endowment and contact network: An empirical study

Rico Maggi and Alessandro Cento


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 produce telecommunication with different technologies by choosing a set of media for...

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