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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling the Choice of Telecommuting 3: Identifying the Choice Set and Estimating Binary Choice Models for Technology-Based Alternatives


Previous papers in this series have presented a conceptual model of the individual decision to telecommute and explored relationships among constraints, preference, and choice. A related paper has developed a binary model of the preference for home-based telecom- muting. Noting that there is a wide gap between preferring to telecommute (88% of the sample) and actually telecommuting (13%), this paper develops binary logit models of role- commuting adoption. Two approaches to dealing with constraints are compared: incorporating them directly into the utility function, and using them to define the choice set. Models using the first approach appear to be statistically superior in this analysis, explaining 63-64% of the information in the data. Variables significant to choice include those relating to work and travel drives, and awareness, manager support, job suitability, technology, and discipline constraints. The best model was used to analyze the impact of relaxing three key constraints on the 355 people in the sample for whom telecommuting was previously identified to be a Preferred Impossible Alternative. When unawareness, lack of manager support, and job unsuitability constraints are relaxed, 28% of the people in the PIA category would be expected to adopt telecommuting. The importance of behavioral models to accurately forecasting telecommuting adoption is emphasized and is suggested to have wider implications for predicting technology-based activity changes.

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