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Car Travel Demand: Spillovers and Asymmetric Price Effects in a Spatial Setting

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  • Sotirios Thanos

    () (School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom)

  • Maria Kamargianni

    () (UCL Energy Institute, University College London, London WC1H 0NN, United Kingdom)

  • Andreas Schäfer

    () (UCL Energy Institute, University College London, London WC1H 0NN, United Kingdom)

Abstract

A novel analysis framework for the spatial aspects of car travel, measured by vehicle miles traveled (VMT), is introduced in this paper. The specification of a dynamic spatial Durbin model enables the analysis of VMT spatial spillovers and diffusion between neighboring areas in the short and long run. The framework is further developed to capture and introduce to a spatial setting potential asymmetry and hysteresis that can reflect reference dependence and habits. A panel data set is compiled at the subregional level, based on official car mileage recordings in England and Wales. In addition to the inelastic long-run responses of VMT to fuel price (−0.124) and income (0.116) changes, the results illustrate asymmetries and hysteresis in price elasticities with a significant spatial component. The impact magnitude on VMT from a number of factors, such as alternative fuel use, fuel deserts in rural areas, and road network and car fleet characteristics, is also estimated. The results are consistent with the car use saturation hypothesis through the positive impact of motorization rate to VMT. The negative effect of public transport infrastructure on car travel is only significant in the spatial models. The paper demonstrates the applicability and importance of spatial econometrics in transport research.

Suggested Citation

  • Sotirios Thanos & Maria Kamargianni & Andreas Schäfer, 2018. "Car Travel Demand: Spillovers and Asymmetric Price Effects in a Spatial Setting," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(3), pages 621-636, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ortrsc:v:52:y:2018:i:3:p:621-636
    DOI: 10.1287/trsc.2017.0789
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1287/trsc.2017.0789
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    References listed on IDEAS

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