How important are household demographic characteristics to explain private car use patterns? A multilevel approach to Austrian data
Private car use is one of the major contributors to pollution in industrialised countries. It is therefore important to understand the factors that determine the demand for car use. In explaining the variability in car use, it is important to take into account household demographic characteristics and local and regional differences in infrastructure, in addition to the economic variables commonly used in the prevailing literature on the topic. The appropriate tool to explain car ownership and car use is, therefore, a multilevel statistical approach. An Austrian household survey from 1997 finds that household characteristics such as age, gender, education and employment of the household head, household size and housing quality can effect the variability of car ownership and car use. The same survey also gives a clear indication of regional heterogeneity. This heterogeneity persists when we controlled for the variability of regional economic welfare and infrastructure as indicated by population density.
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