Investigating the temporal changes in the relationships between time spent on the internet and non-mandatory activity-travel time use

Guoqiang Wu, Jinhyun Hong, Piyushimita Thakuriah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The amount of time we spend online has been increasing dramatically, influencing our daily travel and activity patterns. However, empirical studies on changes in the extent to which the amount of time spent online are related to changes in our activity and travel patterns are scarce, mainly due to a lack of available longitudinal or quasi-longitudinal data. This paper explores how the relationships between the time spent using the Internet, and the time spent on non-mandatory maintenance and leisure activities, have evolved over a decade. Maintenance activities include out-of-home activities such as shopping, banking, and doctor visits, while leisure activities include entertainment activities, visiting friends, sporting activities, and so forth. Our approach uses two datasets from two major cross-sectional surveys in Scotland, i.e. the 2005/06 Scottish Household Survey (SHS) and the 2015 Integrated Multimedia City Data (iMCD) Survey, which were similarly structured and formed. The multiple discrete–continuous extreme value (MDCEV) model and difference-in-differences (DD) estimation are applied and integrated to examine how the relationships between the time spent on the Internet and travel have changed over time and the direction and magnitude of the changes. Our findings suggest that the complementary associations between Internet use and individuals’ non-mandatory activity-travel time use are diminishing over time, whereas their substitutive associations are increasing. We additionally find that such temporal changes are significant in the case of those who spent moderate to high levels of time on the Internet (5 h or more online) per week.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-235
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


  • Difference-in-differences estimation
  • Internet use
  • MDCEV model
  • Non-mandatory activities
  • Temporal changes
  • Travel time use


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the temporal changes in the relationships between time spent on the internet and non-mandatory activity-travel time use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this