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Causes of Youth Licensing Decline: A Synthesis of Evidence

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  • Alexa Delbosc
  • Graham Currie

Abstract

In recent decades, young adults in many developed nations have become increasingly less likely to acquire a driving license. If this trend continues it could have significant impacts on transport futures. Licensing reductions have only recently been identified and causes are only just being explored. This paper presents a first synthesis of available evidence including an assessment of more influential causal factors. It begins by documenting the declining trend evident in 9 of 14 documented countries; the average rate of decline is 0.6% per annum, with highest declines documented in Australia. A range of causal factors are documented from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Changes in life stage and living arrangements, changes in motoring affordability, location and transport, graduated driver licensing schemes, attitudinal influences and the role of e-communication are all explored. Evidence is in general weak and preliminary but suggests multiple causes rather than any single influence. However, of the evidence available life stage factors and affordability influences have stronger links to license decline but are only likely to have a low affect size.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexa Delbosc & Graham Currie, 2013. "Causes of Youth Licensing Decline: A Synthesis of Evidence," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 271-290, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:33:y:2013:i:3:p:271-290
    DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2013.801929
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    7. Chaloupka, Christine & Kölbl, Robert & Loibl, Wolfgang & Molitor, Romain & Nentwich, Michael & Peer, Stefanie & Risser, Ralf & Sammer, Gerd & Schützhofer, Bettina & Seibt, Claus, 2015. "Nachhaltige Mobilität aus sozioökonomischer Perspektive – Diskussionspapier der Arbeitsgruppe "Sozioökonomische Aspekte" der ÖAW-Kommission "Nachhaltige Mobilität" (ITA-manu," ITA manu:scripts 15_02, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
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    9. Blumenberg, Evelyn & Ralph, Kelcie & Smart, Michael & Taylor, Brian D., 2016. "Who knows about kids these days? Analyzing the determinants of youth and adult mobility in the U.S. between 1990 and 2009," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 39-54.
    10. Hopkins, Debbie, 2016. "Can environmental awareness explain declining preference for car-based mobility amongst generation Y? A qualitative examination of learn to drive behaviours," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 149-163.
    11. Klein, Nicholas J. & Smart, Michael J., 2017. "Millennials and car ownership: Less money, fewer cars," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 20-29.
    12. Figueroa, Maria J. & Nielsen, Thomas A. Sick & Siren, Anu, 2014. "Comparing urban form correlations of the travel patterns of older and younger adults," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 10-20.
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    14. Lyons, Glenn & Davidson, Cody, 2016. "Guidance for transport planning and policymaking in the face of an uncertain future," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 104-116.
    15. repec:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:209-220 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Özlem Şimşekoğlu & Trond Nordfjærn & Torbjørn Rundmo, 2017. "Predictors of car use habit strength in an urban Norwegian public," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 575-588, May.

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