, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 27–46 | Cite as

What is responsible for the response lag of a significant change in discretionary time use: the built environment, family and social obligations, temporal constraints, or a psychological delay factor?

  • Cynthia Chen
  • Jason Chen


In this paper, we used the 10-wave Puget Sound Panel Dataset to investigate the response lag of a significant change in discretionary time use. In particular, we want to quantify the relative magnitude of the following factors: the built environment, family and social obligations, temporal constraints, or a psychological delay factor (people delay a behavioral change until the next life shock). To answer this question, we developed a survival model to treat (1) left-censoring, (2) partial observation, and (3) multi-type exits. The results suggest that family and social obligations, as well as temporal constraints, appear to play a more important role than the built environment. Support for the psychological delay factor is not evident. We also found that the probability of having a significant change in discretionary time use is negatively related to time progression, supporting the human adaptivity hypothesis.


Response lag Discretionary time use left-censoring Partial observation Competing risk survival analysis 



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Mr. Neil Kilgren and other staff members at the Puget Sound Regional Council who relentlessly helped us obtain various datasets and answered our numerous questions during the long course of this study. We also want to thank Fred Mannering, Ryuichi Kitamura and four anonymous reviewers for their comments. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringCity College of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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