Immigration, residential location, car ownership, and commuting behavior: A multivariate latent class analysis from California

  • Beckman J
  • Goulias K
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Using latent class cluster analysis, this paper investigates the spatial, social, demographic, and economic determinants of immigrants’ joint distribution among travel time, mode choice, and departure time for work using the 2000 Census long form data. Through a latent tree structure analysis, age, residential location, immigration stage, gender, personal income, and race are found to be the primary determinants in the workplace commute decision-making process. By defining several relatively homogeneous population segments, the likelihood of falling into each segment is found to differ across age groups and geography, with different indicators affecting each group differentially. This analysis complements past studies that used regression models to investigate socio-demographic indicators and their impact on travel behavior in two distinct ways: (a) analysis is done by considering travel time, mode choice, and departure time for work simultaneously, and (b) heterogeneity in behavior is accounted for using methods that identify different groups of behavior and then their determinants. Conclusively the method here is richer than many other methods used to study the ethnically diverse population of California and shows the addition of geographic location and latent segment identification to greatly improve our understanding of specific behaviors. It also provides evidence that immigrants are as diverse as the non-immigrant population and transportation policies need to be defined accordingly.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Commuting
  • Immigrants
  • Latent class cluster analysis
  • Travel behavior

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