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The impact of residential density on vehicle usage and fuel consumption: Evidence from national samples

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  • Kim, Jinwon
  • Brownstone, David

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of residential density on household vehicle usage and fuel consumption. We estimate a simultaneous equations system to account for the potential residential self-selection problem. While most previous studies focus on a specific region, this paper uses national samples from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey. The estimation results indicate that residential density has a statistically significant but economically modest influence on vehicle usage, which is similar to that in previous studies. However, the joint effect of the contextual density measure (density in the context of its surrounding area) and residential density on vehicle usage is quantitatively larger than the sole effect of residential density. Moving a household from a suburban to an urban area reduces household annual mileage by 18%. We also find that a lower neighborhood residential density induces consumer choices toward less fuel-efficient vehicles, which confirms the finding in Brownstone and Golob (2009).

Suggested Citation

  • Kim, Jinwon & Brownstone, David, 2013. "The impact of residential density on vehicle usage and fuel consumption: Evidence from national samples," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 196-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:c:p:196-206
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2013.06.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Melanie Krause & André Seidel, 2020. "The Geographical Determinants of Within-City Heterogeneity in Urban Density," CESifo Working Paper Series 8660, CESifo.
    2. Fernando Rubiera-Morollón & Ruben Garrido-Yserte, 2020. "Recent Literature about Urban Sprawl: A Renewed Relevance of the Phenomenon from the Perspective of Environmental Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(16), pages 1-14, August.
    3. Chai, Jian & Yang, Ying & Wang, Shouyang & Lai, Kin Keung, 2016. "Fuel efficiency and emission in China's road transport sector: Induced effect and rebound effect," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 188-197.
    4. Leung, Kevin Y.K. & Astroza, Sebastian & Loo, Becky P.Y. & Bhat, Chandra R., 2019. "An environment-people interactions framework for analysing children's extra-curricular activities and active transport," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 341-358.
    5. Ahfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2017. "The compact city in empirical research: A quantitative literature review," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83638, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Song, Siqi & Diao, Mi & Feng, Chen-Chieh, 2016. "Individual transport emissions and the built environment: A structural equation modelling approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 206-219.
    7. Bin-Nun, Amitai Y. & Binamira, Isabel, 2020. "A framework for the impact of highly automated vehicles with limited operational design domains," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 174-188.
    8. Bhat, Chandra R. & Astroza, Sebastian & Sidharthan, Raghuprasad & Alam, Mohammad Jobair Bin & Khushefati, Waleed H., 2014. "A joint count-continuous model of travel behavior with selection based on a multinomial probit residential density choice model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-51.
    9. Gillingham, Kenneth & Munk-Nielsen, Anders, 2019. "A tale of two tails: Commuting and the fuel price response in driving," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 27-40.
    10. Gillingham, Kenneth & Munk-Nielsen, Anders, 2019. "A tale of two tails: Commuting and the fuel price response in driving," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 27-40.
    11. Qing Su, 2017. "Travel Demand Management Policy Instruments, Urban Spatial Characteristics, and Household Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Travel in the US Urban Areas," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 7(3), pages 157-166.
    12. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    13. Bhat, Chandra R., 2015. "A new generalized heterogeneous data model (GHDM) to jointly model mixed types of dependent variables," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 50-77.
    14. Bhat, Chandra R. & Astroza, Sebastian & Bhat, Aarti C. & Nagel, Kai, 2016. "Incorporating a multiple discrete-continuous outcome in the generalized heterogeneous data model: Application to residential self-selection effects analysis in an activity time-use behavior model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 52-76.
    15. Yu, Le & Xie, Binglei & Chan, Edwin H.W., 2019. "Exploring impacts of the built environment on transit travel: Distance, time and mode choice, for urban villages in Shenzhen, China," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 57-71.
    16. Dillon, Harya S. & Saphores, Jean-Daniel & Boarnet, Marlon G., 2015. "The impact of urban form and gasoline prices on vehicle usage: Evidence from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 23-33.
    17. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    18. Gabriel M. Ahfeldt & Elisabetta Pietrostefani, 2017. "The Compact City in Empirical Research: A Quantitative Literature Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0215, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    19. Kim, Jinwon, 2016. "Vehicle fuel-efficiency choices, emission externalities, and urban sprawl," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 24-36.
    20. Kim, Jinwon, 2019. "Estimating the social cost of congestion using the bottleneck model," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 1-1.
    21. Jaccard, Mark & Murphy, Rose & Zuehlke, Brett & Braglewicz, Morgan, 2019. "Cities and greenhouse gas reduction: Policy makers or policy takers?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    22. Achim Ahrens & Seán Lyons, 2019. "Changes in Land Cover and Urban Sprawl in Ireland From a Comparative Perspective Over 1990–2012," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, January.
    23. Kotval-K, Zeenat & Vojnovic, Igor, 2016. "A socio-ecological exploration into urban form: The environmental costs of travel," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 87-98.
    24. Manville, Michael & Pinski, Miriam, 2020. "Parking behaviour: Bundled parking and travel behavior in American cities," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    25. Kristof Dascher, 2013. "Climate Change and Urban Contours: Why Countries with Denser City Centers Fight Climate Change Harder," ERSA conference papers ersa13p744, European Regional Science Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household vehicle choice; Simultaneous equations systems; Residential density;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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