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A Comparison of Car Sharing Organizational Models: An Analysis of Feasible Efficiency Increase through a Centralized Model


  • Claudia Burlando

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Genoa (Italy), Italy)


Car sharing seems to have the necessary characteristics to compete in the fulfilment of the gap between mobility offer and demand at international level considering that an offer exclusively based on collective transport systems is not appropriate to satisfy some of the modern transport needs. Nevertheless it is only after the system reaches an economic equilibrium that it will be possible to include car sharing between the new travelling modes provided to the community without aggravating the already exhausted public finances devoted to mobility. In this sense, this work focuses on the organizational model and particularly on its possible efficiency derived from a transition from the current model made of autonomous Local Units to a centralized model. Therefore the main goal of this work is that of evaluating if the centralization of some service costs and a different organizational structure could create cost reduction with the scope of improving the economic equilibrium conditions. This work shows, through a summary of the main international organizational models and an analysis of the Italian case, how the car sharing system can be managed without public contribution (or with contributions devoted only to the start-up phase) and determine an entrepreneurial reality in the case of the development of a centralized organization and avoiding the presence of a plurality of small local operators. It is therefore desirable that the new car sharing operative realities and the already existing ones with a decentralized nature evolve from a fragmented and local organizational phase towards a more mature phase where there a only a few operators or a unique operator in the market. After a review of the main European models of car sharing organization, the attention is placed on the Italian organizational model and particularly on the possible efficiency increase derived from the transition from the current model organized in different Organizational Local Units (one for each city where the service is active) towards a centralized model. The main goal of the study is then to evaluate in which degree the centralization of some service and structure costs and a centralized organizational structure could provide significant cost containments with the scope of improving the economic equilibrium conditions and to allow a development of an alternative mobility system to that of the private vehicles.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Burlando, 2012. "A Comparison of Car Sharing Organizational Models: An Analysis of Feasible Efficiency Increase through a Centralized Model," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 2, pages 53-64, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bap:journl:120205

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prettenthaler, Franz E. & Steininger, Karl W., 1999. "From ownership to service use lifestyle: the potential of car sharing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 443-453, March.
    2. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part II: Policy instruments for sustainable road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, pages 46-91.
    3. Shaheen, Susan & Sperling, Daniel & Wagner, Conrad, 1998. "Carsharing in Europe and North American: Past, Present, and Future," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4gx4m05b, University of California Transportation Center.
    4. Steininger, Karl & Vogl, Caroline & Zettl, Ralph, 1996. "Car-sharing organizations : The size of the market segment and revealed change in mobility behavior," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 177-185, October.
    5. Enoch, Marcus P. & Taylor, Jo, 2006. "A worldwide review of support mechanisms for car clubs," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 434-443, September.
    6. Huwer, Ulrike, 2004. "Public transport and csar-sharing--benefits and effects of combined services," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 77-87, January.
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    More about this item


    Car sharing; Organization; Efficiency; Data analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning


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