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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trends in Out-of-Home and At-Home Activities


Expectations remain high that information communications technology (ICT) might reduce travel. The rapid evolution of technology, combined with a dearth of longitudinal data, has made it extremely difficult to assess the affects of ICT on travel. Results are compared from two independent but similar household surveys in 1995 and 2003 to examine changes in home ICT use and store travel. Multiple analysis of covariance is used to control for differences in sample characteristics, attitudes, and city type and to examine changes in the frequency of out-of-home and at-home shopping and banking between 1995 and 2003. Results indicate that the year of the survey has a main effect in explaining shopping, but not banking frequencies. Respondents in 2003 shop out of home and at home with greater frequency and bank out of home and at home with less frequency, though the latter finding is not statistically significant. Despite reported increases in at-home activities substituting out-of-home shopping trips, the most likely explanation of the results—examining several behaviors—is that people engage in multiple forms of shopping and banking and do so in the ways that are most convenient. Preferences for store shopping and online security concerns may limit observable changes in past growth and the future potential of ICT to replace physical trips.

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