First Version: Sep 2015

Updated: Aug 2018

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Mobile Hailing Technology and Taxi Driving Behaviors

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of mobile hailing technology on taxi driving behaviors. We examine 3.6-terabyte minute-by-minute geo-location data of 2,106 single-shift drivers in Beijing over 18 months. A modified change-point model is proposed to estimate the changes in driving behaviors using the MCMC algorithm. We show that mobile hailing technology adoption is initially associated with an hourly earnings increase of 6.08%, equivalent to approximately CNY 660 monthly income increase. Contrary to the intuition that mobile hailing technology may reduce the cruising time between trips, we find that almost all the increase in taxi drivers’ hourly earnings comes from the selection of large-fare trips. This is because the mobile hailing applications reveal not only riders’ pick-up location but also the destination before taxi drivers accept a trip.

Keywords: Mobile Hailing Apps, Productivity, Productivity Disparity, Technology Adoption