45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
There has been a very large amount of research devoted to the study of activity patterns. The initial studies have been developed in geography (space and time description of human activity, as described by Torsten, Hägerstrand and Peter Hagget) and in economics (starting with the seminal work of Gary Becker). More recently, transportation scholars (see for example the studies of Chandra Bath or of Kay Axhausen) have started to develop sophisticated econometric models to describe the chain of activities during the whole day of individuals. One rationale for this research is the fact that users are increasingly sophisticated and can spend more and more time involved in other activities than the home to work trip. Thus, lengthy trips with many stops can be envisaged (with sometimes one of these stops being at the office). We propose here a new avenue of research covering the following questions: what are the impacts of the chain of activities on the decisions of the firm? The fact that users change their activity patterns does influence the locations of the firms (see for example the emergence of large shopping areas near railway stations or even inside railway stations and airports), as well as their pricing strategies. The questions are: Is the market more or less competitive? Are human activities more or less concentrated as users are more involved in trip chaining?