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The Carbon 'Carprint' of Suburbanization: New Evidence from French Cities

Author

Listed:
  • Camille Blaudin de Thé

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Benjamin Carantino

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Miren Lafourcade

    (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, RITM - Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of urban form on household fuel consumption and car emissions in France. We in particular analyze three features of cities commonly referred to as the "3 D's" (Cervero & Kockelman 1997): Density, Design and Diversity. Individual data allow us to identify the effects of urban form and the spatial sorting of households on emissions. We also use instrumental variables to control for other endogeneity issues. Our results suggest that, by choosing to live at the fringe of a metropolitan area instead of the city center, a representative household would consume approximately six extra tanks of fuel per year. More generally, doubling residential Density would result in an annual saving of approximately two tanks per household. However, larger gains would result from better urban Design (job-housing central-ization, improved rail/bus routes to central business districts, reduced pressure for road construction and a less fragmented built environment in urban areas) while improved Diversity (the concentration of various local amenities such as shops and public facilities) can also help lower fuel consumption. Another important finding is that the relationship between the metropolitan population and car emissions in France is bell-shaped, contrary to that in the US, suggesting that small cities do compensate for their lack of Density/Diversity by environmentally-friendly Design.

Suggested Citation

  • Camille Blaudin de Thé & Benjamin Carantino & Miren Lafourcade, 2020. "The Carbon 'Carprint' of Suburbanization: New Evidence from French Cities," PSE Working Papers halshs-02572893, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-02572893
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02572893
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pflüger, Michael, 2021. "City size, pollution and emission policies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    2. Marion Leroutier & Philippe Quirion, 2021. "Tackling Transport-Induced Pollution in Cities: A case Study in Paris," Working Papers 2021.07, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    3. Borck, Rainald & Schrauth, Philipp, 2021. "Population density and urban air quality," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    4. Michael Pflüger, 2020. "City Size, Pollution and Emission Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 8448, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sprawl; car emissions; CO 2 footprint; driving; public transport; smart cities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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