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Modifying the Rebound: It Depends!: Explaining Mobility Behaviour on the Basis of the German Socio-Economic Panel

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  • Wenzel Matiaske
  • Roland Menges
  • Martin Spieß

Abstract

We address the empirical question to which extent higher fuel efficiency of cars affects additional travel and how this behavioural aspect is modified by additional variables. The data set used to estimate a theoretical model of the rebound effect covers two panel waves, 1998 and 2003, taken from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). To take full advantage of the information in the data available, and to avoid problems due to possible selection effects, we estimated an unbalanced two-wave random effects panel model. Our results suggest that in line with the rebound hypothesis, there is a negative effect of car efficiency on the kilometers driven. That is, the lower the fuel consumption, the larger the driven distance. However, contrasting recent empirical literature about the rebound effect in the transportation sector, this seems to be true only for cars with a consumption of more than roughly eight liters per hundred kilometers. In addition, we find a positive diesel effect, which implies that owning a diesel engined car, has a positive effect on the driven distance. Both effects can be interpreted as support for the rebound hypothesis, although not in a simple linear way. Moreover, it can be shown that some "soft" variables such as certain attitudes towards the environment tend to amplify this non-linear rebound effect. Our results support the general direction of the rebound effect on households travel activities. But because of the remaining political relevance of the rebound effect, they also highlight the importance of accounting for additional behavioural variables which tend to influence individual mobility behaviour. Hence, the classical interpretation of the rebound as a linear effect of advances in fuel economy on individual travel has to be questioned.

Suggested Citation

  • Wenzel Matiaske & Roland Menges & Martin Spieß, 2009. "Modifying the Rebound: It Depends!: Explaining Mobility Behaviour on the Basis of the German Socio-Economic Panel," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 174, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
    2. Frondel, Manuel & Peters, Jörg & Vance, Colin, 2007. "Identifying the Rebound: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Evidence from a German Household Panel," RWI Discussion Papers 57, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    3. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
    4. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    5. Hymel, Kent M. & Small, Kenneth A. & Dender, Kurt Van, 2010. "Induced demand and rebound effects in road transport," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1220-1241, December.
    6. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    7. Carol A. Dahl, 1986. "Gasoline Demand Survey," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 67-82.
    8. Lee Schipper & Céline Marie-Lilliu & Lew Fulton, 2002. "Diesels in Europe: Analysis of Characteristics, Usage Patterns, Energy Savings and CO 2 Emission Implications," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 36(2), pages 305-340, May.
    9. Frank Verboven, 2002. "Quality-Based Price Discrimination and Tax Incidence: Evidence from Gasoline and Diesel Cars," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Frondel, Manuel & Martinez Flores, Fernanda & Vance, Colin, 2016. "Heterogeneous rebound effects: Comparing estimates from discrete-continuous models," Ruhr Economic Papers 601, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Ritter, Nolan, 2012. "Beyond the Average Elasticity – Applying Quantile Panel Regression to German Household Mobility Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 392, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Siskos, Pelopidas & Capros, Pantelis & De Vita, Alessia, 2015. "CO2 and energy efficiency car standards in the EU in the context of a decarbonisation strategy: A model-based policy assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 22-34.
    4. Sylvain Weber, 2017. "Consumers' preferences on the Swiss car market," IRENE Working Papers 16-12, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Nolan Ritter, 2012. "Beyond the Average Elasticity – Applying Quantile Panel Regression to German Household Mobility Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 0392, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Schall, Dominik L. & Wolf, Menas & Mohnen, Alwine, 2016. "Do effects of theoretical training and rewards for energy-efficient behavior persist over time and interact? A natural field experiment on eco-driving in a company fleet," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 291-300.
    7. Yu, Biying & Zhang, Junyi & Fujiwara, Akimasa, 2013. "Evaluating the direct and indirect rebound effects in household energy consumption behavior: A case study of Beijing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 441-453.
    8. repec:zbw:rwirep:0392 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy demand; rebound effect; panel data analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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