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Household car use in France: a demographic and economic analysis


  • Roger Collet

    () (University of Paris-Est, IFSTTAR)


This article provides an evaluation of the effects of age and generation on household car-use behavior in France, and sheds some light on household perception of fuel price volatility. Using repeated cross-section data from the French "Car Fleet" survey, a pseudo-panel averaging households in generational cohorts has been built over the 1988-2008 period. The results from the Age-Cohort-Period analysis reveal that younger households, whose heads were born at a time when cars were already very widespread in the French society, have made more intensive use of the car than their parents or grandparents at the same age, who grew up in less car-dependent times. In addition, the negative impact of fuel price volatility on car use is revealed. It can be interpreted as a sign of risk aversion, leading households to reduce their car mileage when there is an increase in uncertainty about fuel prices. Lastly, we demonstrate that failure to consider the volatility effect may result in an overestimation of household car use elasticity with respect to fuel price.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Collet, 2012. "Household car use in France: a demographic and economic analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 475-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00791

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    Cited by:

    1. Vij, Akshay & Gorripaty, Sreeta & Walker, Joan L., 2017. "From trend spotting to trend ’splaining: Understanding modal preference shifts in the San Francisco Bay Area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 238-258.
    2. Roger Collet & Laurent Hivert & Jean-Loup Madre, 2012. "Diffusion de l’automobile en France : vers quels plafonds pour la motorisation et l’usage ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 457(1), pages 123-139.
    3. Collet, Roger & de Lapparent, Matthieu & Hivert, Laurent, 2015. "Are French households car-use addicts? A microeconomic perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 86-94.

    More about this item


    Household demand; Car use; Mileage; Fuel price; Volatility; Pseudo-panel; ACP model.;

    JEL classification:

    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables


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