IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The motorcycle Kuznets curve


  • Shuhei Nishitateno
  • Paul J. Burke


The evolution of motorcycle ownership is a crucial issue for road safety, as motorcyclists are highly vulnerable road users. Analyzing a panel of 153 countries for the period 1963-2010, we document a motorcycle Kuznets curve which sees motorcycle dependence increase and then decrease as economies develop. Upswings in motorcycle ownership are particularly pronounced in densely populated countries. We also present macro-level evidence on the additional road fatalities associated with motorcycles. Our results indicate that many low-income countries face the prospect of an increasing number of motorcycle-related deaths over coming years unless adequate safety initiatives are implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Shuhei Nishitateno & Paul J. Burke, 2014. "The motorcycle Kuznets curve," Departmental Working Papers 2014-04, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2014-04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    2. Kopits, Elizabeth & Cropper, Maureen, 2003. "Traffic fatalities and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3035, The World Bank.
    3. Michael Grimm & Carole Treibich, 2013. "Determinants Of Road Traffic Crash Fatalities Across Indian States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(8), pages 915-930, August.
    4. Paul J. Burke, 2012. "Climbing the electricity ladder generates carbon Kuznets curve downturns," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 56(2), pages 260-279, April.
    5. Richard Tay, 2003. "Marginal Effects of Changing the Vehicle Mix on Fatal Crashes," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 439-450, September.
    6. Jou, Rong-Chang & Huang, Wen-Hsiu & Wu, Yuan-Chan & Chao, Ming-Che, 2012. "The asymmetric income effect on household vehicle ownership in Taiwan: A threshold cointegration approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 696-706.
    7. Elizabeth Kopits & Maureen Cropper, 2008. "Why Have Traffic Fatalities Declined in Industrialised Countries?: Implications for Pedestrians and Vehicle Occupants," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(1), pages 129-154, January.
    8. Stern, David I., 2010. "Between estimates of the emissions-income elasticity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2173-2182, September.
    9. Joyce Dargay & Dermot Gately & Martin Sommer, 2007. "Vehicle Ownership and Income Growth, Worldwide: 1960-2030," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 143-170.
    10. World Bank, 2013. "World Development Indicators 2013," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13191.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yi-Xuan Gao & Hua Liao & Paul J. Burke & Yi-Ming Wei, 2015. "Road transport energy consumption in the G7 and BRICS: 1973-2010," International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 38(4/5/6), pages 342-356.
    2. Paul J. Burke & Shuhei Nishitateno, 2015. "Gasoline Prices And Road Fatalities: International Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1437-1450, July.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:7:p:1217-:d:104499 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Srikant Devaraj & Pankaj C Patel, 2016. "Gas Prices and Red light Violations in Chicago," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1844-1853.
    5. Marquet, Oriol & Miralles-Guasch, Carme, 2016. "City of Motorcycles. On how objective and subjective factors are behind the rise of two-wheeled mobility in Barcelona," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 37-45.

    More about this item


    motorcycles; economic development; Kuznets curve; road safety; road fatalities;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2014-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sandra Zec) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.