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A Quantitative Analysis of Suburbanization and the Diffusion of the Automobile

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  • Kopecky, Karen A.
  • Suen, Richard M. H.

Abstract

Suburbanization in the U.S. between 1910 and 1970 was concurrent with the rapid diffusion of the automobile. A circular city model is developed in order to access quantitatively the contribution of automobiles and rising incomes to suburbanization. The model incorporates a number of driving forces of suburbanization and car adoption, including falling automobile prices, rising real incomes, changing costs of traveling by car and with public transportation, and urban population growth. According to the model, 60 percent of postwar (1940-1970) suburbanization can be explained by these factors. Rising real incomes and falling automobile prices are shown to be the key drivers of suburbanization.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13258.

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Date of creation: 05 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13258

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Keywords: automobile; suburbanization; population density gradients; technological progress;

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  12. Margo, Robert A., 1992. "Explaining the postwar suburbanization of population in the United States: The role of income," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-310, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Goulden, Murray & Ryley, Tim & Dingwall, Robert, 2014. "Beyond ‘predict and provide’: UK transport, the growth paradigm and climate change," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 139-147.
  2. Robert A. Margo & Leah Platt Boustan, 2011. "White Suburbanization And African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Boustan, Leah Platt, 2013. "Local public goods and the demand for high-income municipalities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-82.
  4. David Lagakos, 2009. "Superstores or mom and pops? Technolgy adoption and productivity differences in retail trade," Staff Report 428, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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