Qualitative Choice Analysis: Theory Econometrics, and an Application to Automobile Demand

by Kenneth E. Train

published by MIT Press, 1986; third printing, 1993

To order: Call MIT Press at 617-625-8569, extension 772

To download a pdf file of the entire book or individual chapters for viewing, click here.


This book addresses two significant research areas in an interdependent fashion. It is first of all a comprehensive but concise text that covers the recently developed and widely applicable methods of qualitative choice analysis, illustrating the general theory through simulation models of automobile demand and use. It is also a detailed study of automobile demand and use, presenting forecasts based on these powerful new techniques.

The book develops the general principles that underlie qualitative choice models that are now being applied in numerous fields in addition to transportation, such as housing, labor, energy, communications, and criminology. The general form, derivation, and estimation of qualitative choice models are explained, and the major models--logit, probit, and GEV--are discussed in detail. Also, continuous/discrete models are introduced. In these, qualitative choice methods and standard regression techniques are combined to analyse situations that neither alone can accurately forecast.

Summarizing previous research on auto demand, the book shows how qualitative choice methods can be used by applying them to specific auto-related decisions as the aggregate of individuals' choices. The simulation model that is constructed is a significant improvement over older models, and should prove more useful to agencies and organizations requiring accurate forecasting of auto demand and use for planning and policy development. Fluctuations in energy prices (and policies), the domestic manufacturing situation and import restrictions, air pollution, and highway congestion are among the national background considerations and concerns, and the number, age, type, fuel efficiency, and accumulated mileage of automobiles owned by individual households are among the local-impact forecasts of the model.

The book concludes with an actual case study based on a model designed for the investigations of the California Energy Commission.

Excerpts from reviews

"...provides virtually all the foundation needed to begin applying modern qualitative choice models, and should be required reading for business and government research analysts."
Professor John Quigley
University of California, Berkeley
in Business Economics

"Students and others must surely benefit by this only too rare insight into the complete process of discrete choice analysis."
Professor David Hensher
University of Sydney
in Planning and Design

"Train's book is a masterpiece of clear, accessible writing."
Professor Kenneth Small
University of California, Irvine
in Journal of Mathematical Psychology

"...an important contribution... No other currently existing text, review article, etc., has the potential to fill this 'communications gap' [between econometricians and practitioners] as well as this book."
Professor Eric Miller
University of Toronto
in Transportation Science

"...a truly excellent job."
Professor R. Carter Hill
Louisiana State University
in Interfaces

Table of Contents

    I. Theory and Econometrics of Qualitative Choice Models
  1. Qualitative Choice Models in General
  2. Logit
  3. Probit
  4. GEV
  5. Continuous/Discrete Models
  6. Simulation with Qualitative Choice Models

    II. An Application to Automobile Demand
  7. Previous Research on Automobile Demand
  8. Auto Ownership and Use: An Integrated System of Disaggregate Demand Models
  9. Demand Simulations for California

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