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Relationship of Residential Location Choice with Commute Travels and Socioeconomics in the Small Towns of South Asia: The Case of Hafizabad, Pakistan

Masoumi, Houshmand; Aslam, Atif Bilal; Rana, Irfan Ahmad; Ahmad, Muhammad; Naeem, Nida

The existing literature of emerging markets fails to provide evidence to clarify if people choose their residential location based on commuting to work or other socioeconomic or household factors. The present paper seeks to provide such evidence in South Asia using the case study of a small city in Pakistan. This exploratory study was facilitated by primary data collected from 365 adults in Hafizabad, Pakistan, using face-to-face interviews in 2018. Two research questions were answered: (1) with what socioeconomic or mobility-related variables are the residential self-selections correlated? (2) how strong is the possible association of commuting to work to residential location choices compared to other factors, including social, economic, and family-related issues? The results of Chi-square tests and Proportional Reduction in Error analyses show that the three variables of neighborhood place, gender, and housing tenure type are associated with residential location choices. These findings are partly in line with studies on high-income countries, but gender and housing tenure are more specific to developing countries. Moreover, results of a Binary Logistic model show that marital status and house ownership of other household members define whether people choose their living place based on commuting rather than other socioeconomic and household issues. The finding of the latter variable contrasts with behaviors in high-income countries, whereas the former variable has some similarities. These findings highlight some contextual differences between house location selection in South Asia and other regions.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su14063163, MDPI