Substitution between E-shopping and Travel: Evidence from the Twin Cities- FY09 Tech Plan

Principal Investigator(s):

Jason Cao, Professor , Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Frank Douma, Director, State & Local Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

As information and communication technologies (ICTs) continue to evolve, significant research has been done on how these technologies influence where work is done and how the resulting changes affect travel. However, little work has been conducted to understand the impact of ICTs on individuals' shopping travel, especially in the United States. Further, existing empirical studies have produced inconclusive findings on the relationship between e-shopping (Internet shopping) and travel.

This research aims to reveal the interactions between e-shopping and in-store shopping using a sample of Internet users in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. This project summarizes previous research on the interactions among spatial attributes, e-shopping, and travel behavior, and makes eight recommendations for future research. Guided by the recommendations, this study adopts an innovative research design by integrating a conventional shopping survey with an activity diary. This project provides a detailed description of survey development and implementation, points out several common pitfalls in survey administration, and presents results on the interactions. Two ordered probit models and structural equation models were developed to investigate the influence of geography on online shopping usage and the influence of e-shopping on traditional shopping.


Project details: