Understanding behavioral effects of tradable mobility credit scheme: An experimental economics approach

Ye Tian, Yi Chang Chiu, Jian Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The concept of Tradable Mobility Credit scheme (TMC) has been explored as an innovative Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) strategy using economic instruments. In a general TMC scheme, a Central Authority Agency (CAA) issues a certain amount of mobility credits to eligible travelers. Credits are charged if the travelers take specific routes while the credits can also be traded in between of travelers in a market. An online interactive experiment, within which human participants extensively interact with each other and with intelligent virtual agents in credit trading and route choice stages, is conducted in this study. Hypothesized behavioral effects that characterize responses to TMC in personal car use domain, including loss aversion, immediacy effect and learning effect, are observed. Next, simulated experiments under various credit demand/supply situations, with only virtual agents, are conducted. The results show the proposed TMC scheme is fairly efficient and financially sustainable. Fast market equilibrium convergence is observed as well. The future TMC scheme design could accommodate the insights from this empirical study. In the meantime, the experiment platform could serve as a handy data collection tool that could be portable for any future studies involving online interactions and collective choices in transportation realm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Agent-based modeling and simulation
  • Behavioral economics
  • Experimental economics
  • Immediacy effect
  • Loss aversion
  • Tradable mobility credits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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