|Ph.D Student||Shaby Tomer|
|Subject||A Hybrid Choice Model of Travel Behavior under Emergency|
and War Situations
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisor||Professor Yoram Shiftan|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
While much research attention has been given to understand travel behavior under natural and man-made disasters, less if any research effort, has been devoted to understand travel behavior under the extreme situation of war. Furthermore, these studies focused on the disparity of socio-demographic characteristics among evacuees and non-evacuees, while at the same time, almost completely ignored the potential pivotal role of psychological tendencies and perceptions within the decision making process. The current study is aimed to partly fill this gap.
The continuous Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the repeated battles around the Israel-Gaza strip common border, characterized by launching rockets into Israel, creates a unique situation which does not exist elsewhere and is the basis for this study.
Based on a Revealed preferences (RP) dataset of 408 residents who lived in the south part of Israel during the 2012 'Amud Anan' military operation in the Gaza strip, a 4-alternatives Hybrid Choice Model (HCM) for travel behavior (i.e. evacuating; avoiding activities; changing activities locations; and no travel behavior change) has been developed.
Altogether, 37 indicators were used to evaluate seven different psychological tendencies and perceptions of the individual as latent variables - Fatalism, Risk Perception, Resistance to change, Pessimism, Risk Averse, life routine continuity, and level of trust in the authorities.
Results indicate that the individual decision to evacuate from the threatened area is affected by his own and household-level characteristics, his psychological tendencies, and his perceptions towards sociological aspects, mainly the behavior of others in the area.
Among the individual and household-level characteristics, age and property ownership were found to be negatively correlated with evacuation decision. Older people are less likely to evacuate. Likewise, those who live in their owned property show reluctance to evacuate, leaving behind their properties exposed to the potential damage of rockets or to looters. Gender also plays a role with men exhibiting lower tendency to evacuate, cancel activities, and changing destinations. Households with children up to seven years old are more likely to abandon and the same is valid for households owning pets. Geographical proximity was found to be negatively correlated, with residents who live in adjacency to the border, show greater likelihood to evacuate.
Several psychological tendencies and perceptions were found to be meaningful in the evacuation decision. The individual's risk perception and risk aversion were found to be positively correlated with the evacuation decision. The higher one's risk perception and risk aversion, the more likely that she or he will choose to evacuate. On the other hand, the individual perception regarding the life routine continuity found to be negatively correlated so, the more the individual perceives life routine to be maintained, the less likely that she or he will evacuate, and the same is valid concerning fatalism and resistance to change.
Other variables which have been considered to potentially impact the individual decisions found to be not significant. These include the existence of either active or passive protection (shelter, 'Iron Dome' set), household size, experience from previous events, and the individual's tendency towards pessimism.