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Demographic dynamics and per capita environmental impact: using panel regressions and household decompositions to examine population and transport

  • Brantley Liddle

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Demographic variables have tended to be ignored in many environment-development analyses. This paper examines how population changes (in aging, households, and urbanization/density) can help explain changes/differences in personal transport using both macro- and micro- level data. First, panel regressions are performed with IEA-OECD road sector energy use data (spanning 1960-2000) on spatial population measures, average household size, and age structure data. Then US household data is used to determine the extent compositional changes in the nature of households can explain changes in per capita driving. An Environmental Kuznets Curve for per capita road energy use was rejected—the coefficients on the GDP squared terms were insignificant and the implied turning points were well outside the sample range; instead, the relationship between wealth and road energy was found to be monotonic (log-linear). The ideas that more densely populated countries have less personal transport demands, the young drive more, and smaller households mean higher per capita driving were confirmed. The basic result from the household decompositions was that changes in demand were more important than compositional changes, however, during some periods the compositional change component was considerable. A few policy implications can be drawn from these analyses. First, the look at micro data implies that there is much potential for policy to affect transport behavior since the compositional component of change—more difficult for policy to alter—is smaller than the behavioral or demand component. However, the look at the macro data implies that spatial factors, like population density and urbanization—which also can be difficult to alter—are significant in influencing personal transport demand.

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File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2003-029.pdf
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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2003-029.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-029
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  2. James W. Vaupel & Vladimir Canudas-Romo, 2002. "Decomposing demographic change into direct vs. compositional components," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, July.
  3. Ruth A. Judson & Richard Schmalensee & Thomas M. Stoker, 1999. "Economic Development and the Structure of the Demand for Commercial Energy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 29-57.
  4. Alexia Prskawetz & Jiang Leiwen & Brian C. O Neill, 2004. "Demographic composition and projections of car use in Austria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 2(1), pages 175-202.
  5. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001. "Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
  6. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
  7. List, John A. & Gallet, Craig A., 1999. "The environmental Kuznets curve: does one size fit all?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 409-423, December.
  8. Roca, Jordi & Padilla, Emilio & Farre, Mariona & Galletto, Vittorio, 2001. "Economic growth and atmospheric pollution in Spain: discussing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 85-99, October.
  9. Jordi Roca & Emilio Padilla & Mariona Farré & Vittorio Galletto, 2001. "Economic growth and atmospheric pollution in Spain: discussing the environmental Kuznets curve by hypothesis," Working Papers wp0101, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  10. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  11. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
  12. Stern, David I., 2002. "Explaining changes in global sulfur emissions: an econometric decomposition approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 201-220, August.
  13. Neumayer, Eric, 2002. "Can natural factors explain any cross-country differences in carbon dioxide emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 7-12, January.
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