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Title: An indirect latent informational conformity social influence choice model: Formulation and case study

The current state-of-the-art in social influence models of travel behavior is conformity models with direct benefit social influence effects. Indirect effects have seen limited development, but this paper presents a latent class discrete choice model of an indirect informational conformity hypothesis. Moreover, class membership depends on the proportion of group members who adopt a behavior. Membership into the more informed class causes changes in the preferences of those individuals thus making adoption more attractive. Equilibrium properties are derived for this model showing the possibility of multiple equilibria but under different conditions than the direct-benefit formulations. Social influence elasticity is derived for both models types. The informational conformity model can represent non-linear elasticity behavior unlike the direct-benefit formulation. Additionally, a two-stage control function is developed to obtain consistent parameter estimates in the presence of an endogenous class membership model covariate that is correlated with choice model unobservables. A case study to study social influence in bicycle ownership in the United States is presented. Our results showed that more informed households had a greater chance of owning a bike due to preference changes with less sensitivity to smaller home footprints and limited incomes. The behavioral hypothesis of positive preference change due tomore » information transfer was confirmed. Observed ownership share closely matched predicted local-level equilibrium in some metropolitan areas but was unable to achieve expected prediction rate within confidence intervals. Finally, the elasticity of social influence was found to range locally from about 0.5% to 1.0%.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Transportation Research, Part B: Methodological
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 93; Journal Issue: PA; Journal ID: ISSN 0191-2615
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). National Transportation Research Center (NTRC)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; Discrete choice; bicycle ownership; latent class; social learning; social equilibrium; endogeneity
OSTI Identifier: