Estimation of Program Effects from Cross-sectional Observational Surveys – Case Studies of the Effect on Travel Behavior of The Adoption of (i) Future Mobility Options like Carsharing, and (ii) Telecommuting

Causal inferences in travel behavior literature (e.g. what is the effect of carsharing enrollment on vehicle ownership) are largely based on cross-sectional observational surveys, and possess the potential for various biases that are conflated with true causal effects. Observed differences in travel behavior may be attributed to selection bias arising because treatment participants are different from non-participants in observed and unobserved ways like demographics, built environment characteristics, and attitudes. Bias may also arise because of reverse causality or simultaneity because, for example, vehicle holdings may influence the propensity to join carsharing even while carsharing affects vehicle holdings. The problem is exacerbated when these biases occur jointly as is common in travel behavior. Existing tools in statistical and/or econometric literature address a subset of biases. This project will demonstrate the joint application of multiple tools to address multiple biases. The project will apply the framework to make causal inferences in two particular contexts (a) Enrollment in carsharing using the 2010/12 California Household Travel Survey; (b) Adoption of telecommuting using the United Kingdom (UK) National 2 Travel Survey. In both cases, the project will study the effect on individual and household travel behavior including vehicle ownership, transit usage, frequency of walking and biking, and travel distance.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      National Center for Sustainable Transportation

      University of California, Davis
      Davis, CA  United States 
    • Performing Organizations:

      National Center for Sustainable Transportation

      University of California, Davis
      Davis, CA  United States 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Mishra, Gouri

    • Start Date: 20160701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20170331
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01622284
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC29
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Jan 11 2017 1:56PM