Working Papers (when not listed elsewhere)
Hover over the article title link for abstract, click for downloadable paper in pdf.
- Carrion, Carlos, Nebiyou Tilahun, and David Levinson (2012) Monte Carlo Simulation of Adaptive Stated Preference Survey with a case study: Effects of Aggregate Mode Shares on Individual Mode Choice.
Monte Carlo experiments are used to study the unbiasedness of several common random utility models for a proposed adaptive stated preference survey. This survey is used to study the influence of the knowledge of existing mode shares on travelers mode choice. Furthermore, the survey is applied to a sample of subjects selected from the University of Minnesota. The results indicate that the presence of mode shares in the mode choice model does influence the decision of travelers. The estimates are found to be biased by the Monte Carlo experiments. (working paper)
- Giacomin, David J. , Luke S. James, and David M. Levinson (2012)Trends in Metropolitan Network Circuity
Because people seek to minimize their time and travel distance (or cost) when commuting, the circuity–the ratio of network distance traveled to the Euclidean distance between two points–plays an intricate role in the metropolitan economy. This paper seeks to measure the circuity of the United States’ 51 most populated Metropolitan Statistical Areas and identify trends in those circuities over the time period from 1990- 2010. With many factors playing a role such as suburban development and varying economic trends in metropolitan areas over this timeframe, much is to consider when calculating results. In general, circuity is increasing over time. (Working Paper)
- Iacono, Michael, David Levinson, Ahmed El-Geneidy, and Rania Wasfi (2012) Markov Chain Model of Land Use Change in the Twin Cities
The set of models available to predict land use change in urban regions has become increasingly complex in recent years. Despite their complexity, the predictive power of these models remains relatively weak. This paper presents an example of an alternative modeling framework based on the concept of a Markov chain. The model assumes that land use at any given time, which is viewed as a discrete state, can be considered a function of only its previous state. The probability of transition between each pair of states is recorded as an element of a transition probability matrix. Assuming that this matrix is stationary over time, it can be used to predict future land use distributions from current data. To illustrate this process, a Markov chain model is estimated for the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, USA (Twin Cities) metropolitan region. Using a unique set of historical land use data covering several years between 1958 and 2005, the model is tested using historical data to predict recent conditions, and is then used to forecast the future distribution of land use decades into the future. We also use the cell-level data set to estimate the fraction of regional land use devoted to transportation facilities, including major highways, airports, and railways. The paper concludes with some comments on the strengths and weaknesses of Markov chains as a land use modeling framework, and suggests some possible extensions of the model. (Working Paper)
- Tilahun, Nebiyou and David Levinson (2009)
The Role of Job Search Methods and Contacts on Commuting and Relocation Decisions.
This paper empirically explores the relationship between (i) job finding and commuting outcomes and (ii) the relationship between job search and the commute and location outcomes of relocation decisions after finding employment. The relationship between commute outcomes when finding a new job and the job search method that one employs are explored first. That is followed by an analysis of how long one stays at their residence after finding work, and where they eventually relocate relative to their new employment site as well as their previous residence. Along with the usual socio-demographic variables, the analysis takes on the job search method as well as the local contacts that one has in their residential area as important variables informing these choices. The findings indicate that jobs found through the use of internet and newspapers were on average farther away from the searchers’ residence as compared to those found through contacts and formal means. On relocation after employment, we find that being a renter and moving to a rental unit were important in how quickly one relocated. In addition those that used the internet to find their jobs also relocated faster after controlling for demographic variables such as age. The distribution of ones social contacts were also found to be important in how far away from the previous location a person relocated.
JEL code: J61, J64, R41, R31, D83, L14, D85
Keywords: Job search, travel behavior, transport geography, commuting, relocation
- Iacono, Michael and David Levinson (2008)
Review of Methods for Estimating the Economic Impact of Transportation Improvements.
Transportation analysts and the public decision-makers they support are confronted with a
broad range of analytical tools for estimating the economic impacts of improvements to trans-
portation networks. Many of the available models operate at different scales and have distinctly
different structures, making them more or less appropriate for analyzing the impacts of differ-
ent types of projects. Here, we review several of the economic methods and models that have
been developed for analyzing the impact of transportation improvements, giving special atten-
tion to types of projects that add highway capacity in urban areas. We review project-based
methods, including beneﬁt-cost analysis and several analytical software tools developed by the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for economic analysis of transportation investment.
We then move on to aggregate and disaggregate-level econometric methods, including regional
economic models, hedonic price functions, production functions and cliometric analyses. We
also devote some attention to the role of induced demand in economic evaluation, since it is of-
ten one of the most uncertain and confounding factors faced by those charged with conducting
economic evaluation of transportation projects.
Keywords: Economic Impact, Benefit-Cost Analysis, Literature Review
- Patterson, Tyler and David Levinson (2008)
Lexus Lanes or Corolla Lanes? Spatial Use and Equity Patterns on the I-394 MnPASS Lanes.
A 2004-2006 longitudinal panel survey of I-394 residents found support levels at over 60
percent for the congestion priced High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane, known to the Twin
Cities as MnPASS. This number varies only slightly when sorted by income levels,
gender, and education levels, suggesting that the arrangement is perceived as equitable.
However, people with higher incomes use the system more often and thereby capitalize
on the direct benefit more often, a finding consistent with other studies. Previous
research has not revealed whether higher incomes actually cause people to use the
MnPASS option more often or whether HOT lanes have simply been built along high
income corridors, such as I-394. This paper aims to separate the effects of income and
location on use to provide a more robust understanding of equity concerns. Using data
provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Heteroskedasticity-Consistent
Method 3 (HC3) regressions, this paper suggests that location and income both explain
HOT lane use.
Keywords: Congestion Pricing, HOT Lanes, High Occupancy Toll lanes, Value Pricing, Equity, Twin Cities (Minnesota), economic evaluation
- Levinson, David, Michael Corbett, and Maryam Hashami (2005)
Operating Costs for Trucks.
This study estimates the operating costs for commercial vehicle operators in Minnesota. A
survey of firms that undertake commercial truck road movements was performed. The average
operating cost per kilometer for commercial vehicle operators was calculated from the survey
responses. Results show that the translog and Cobb-Douglas models have approximately equal
explanatory power in estimating the total cost from the data. The models also revealed the
presence of nearly constant returns to scale, a finding consistent with earlier studies; an increase
in output (total truckloads) of 1% increases total costs by 1.04%..
- Levinson, David and Bhanu Yerra
How Land Use Shapes the Evolution of Road Networks.
The present research develops an agent-based model to treat the organization,
growth, and contraction of network elements. The components model travel demand,
revenue, cost, and investment. Revenue earned by links in excess of maintenance costs is
invested on the link to until all revenue is consumed. After upgrading (or downgrading)
each link in the network, the time period is incremented and the whole process is repeated
until an equilibrium is reached or it is clear that it cannot be achieved. The model is tested
with three alternative land use patterns: uniform, random, and bell-shaped, to test the
effects of land use on resulting network patterns. It is found that similar, but not identical,
equilibrium hierarchical networks result in all cases, with the bell-shaped network, with a
CBD, having higher level roads concentrated in a belt around the CBD, while the other
networks are less concentrated..
- Nee, Brendan and David Levinson
Value of Information for Transit Riders.
Transit information systems are crucial for informing riders of their location,
destination, and arrival time. After reviewing and classifying the various types of transit
information systems, an adaptive stated preference survey was developed and
administered to determine the value of information for transit users. The survey
consisted of two scenarios which included a picture and a written description. In a series
of nine questions, participants were given the choice of a higher fare that included more
transit information or a lower fare with less or no information. The average increase in
fare for improved transit information was $0.83. An OLS model was developed based on
the demographic information from respondents. Females, people between the ages of 20
and 30, and those with higher income were willing to pay the most for improved transit
information. Respondents who were regular transit users and who lived far from where
they worked were willing to pay the least. (working paper).
- Zhang, Lei and David Levinson (2004)
Relationships between ramp metering and sprawl.
This paper explores impacts of ramp metering
on urban land use. A regression-based transportation model is developed
to capture changes in accessibility caused by ramp metering on a highway
network. A Land Use Change Indicator (LUCI) model is modified to estimate
how the spatial distribution of employment and housing would change in
response to the redistributed accessibility in five hypothetical urban
areas with various initial land use patterns. Accessibility will be improved
in almost all areas in a city with ramp metering, but meters affect land
use patterns in various ways depending on initial land use conditions.
Ramp metering can exacerbate decentralization, but not necessarily sprawl.
Keywords: Ramp metering, Land use, Urban sprawl, Decentralization.