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Urban Density and Climate Change: A STIRPAT Analysis using City-level Data

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  • Liddle, Brantley

Abstract

Two important, increasing trends for those concerned about climate change to consider are urbanization/the importance of cities and energy used in transport—particularly energy used to achieve personal mobility. While national urbanization levels are not a good indicator of urban transport demand, there is an established negative relationship between urban density and such demand. This paper uses a consistent, well-known population-based framework (the STIRPAT model) and three separate, but highly related, datasets of cities from developed and developing countries (with observations from 1990, 1995, and 2001) to examine the relationship among private transport energy consumption, population, income, urban density, and several variables (e.g., network size and prices) that describe the nature of the public and private transport systems of those cities. The paper confirms the now well-established result that urban density is negatively correlated with urban private transport energy consumption. In terms of policies, improving private vehicle fuel efficiency, in particular, and increasing fuel price as well as other ownership/operating costs for private transport could have a substantial impact on lowering transport energy consumption. On the other hand, there is no evidence that further lowering the cost to riders of public transport would lower private transport energy consumption. For cities in developing countries, demographic variables (population size and urban density) are particularly important in determining private transport energy consumption. Also, private transport energy consumption is considerably less price sensitive in those developing country cities compared to cities in the most developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Liddle, Brantley, 2013. "Urban Density and Climate Change: A STIRPAT Analysis using City-level Data," MPRA Paper 52089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52089
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/52089/1/MPRA_paper_52086.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brantley Liddle, 2011. "Consumption-Driven Environmental Impact and Age Structure Change in OECD Countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(30), pages 749-770, May.
    2. Brantley Liddle, 2003. "Demographic dynamics and per capita environmental impact: using panel regressions and household decompositions to examine population and transport," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà, 2010. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, mobility, institutions, and geography," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 775-790, September.
    4. Karathodorou, Niovi & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2010. "Estimating the effect of urban density on fuel demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 86-92, January.
    5. Kenworthy, Jeffrey R. & Laube, Felix B., 1999. "Patterns of automobile dependence in cities: an international overview of key physical and economic dimensions with some implications for urban policy," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 691-723.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Changjian & Wang, Fei & Zhang, Xinlin & Yang, Yu & Su, Yongxian & Ye, Yuyao & Zhang, Hongou, 2017. "Examining the driving factors of energy related carbon emissions using the extended STIRPAT model based on IPAT identity in Xinjiang," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 51-61.
    2. Liddle, Brantley & Lung, Sidney, 2013. "Might electricity consumption cause urbanization instead? Evidence from heterogeneous panel long-run causality tests," MPRA Paper 52333, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Brantley Liddle & George Messinis, 2015. "Which comes first - urbanization or economic growth? Evidence from heterogeneous panel causality tests," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 349-355, March.
    4. repec:spr:climat:v:142:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-017-1968-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Li, Ke & Lin, Boqiang, 2015. "Impacts of urbanization and industrialization on energy consumption/CO2 emissions: Does the level of development matter?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1107-1122.
    6. Laureti, Tiziana & Montero, José-María & Fernández-Avilés, Gema, 2014. "A local scale analysis on influencing factors of NOx emissions: Evidence from the Community of Madrid, Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 557-568.
    7. Liddle, Brantley, 2013. "Urban Transport Pollution: Revisiting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," MPRA Paper 53632, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Xu, Bin & Lin, Boqiang, 2016. "Assessing CO2 emissions in China’s iron and steel industry: A dynamic vector autoregression model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 375-386.
    9. Fremstad, Anders & Underwood, Anthony & Zahran, Sammy, 2018. "The Environmental Impact of Sharing: Household and Urban Economies in CO2 Emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 137-147.
    10. Azam, Muhammad & Khan, Abdul Qayyum & Zaman, Khalid & Ahmad, Mehboob, 2015. "Factors determining energy consumption: Evidence from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1123-1131.
    11. Rafael Morales-Lage & Aurelia Bengochea-Morancho & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2016. "The determinants of CO2 emissions: evidence from European countries," Working Papers 2016/04, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    12. repec:eee:trapol:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:93-105 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban density; STIRPAT; transport energy demand; city-based data;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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