Do Fewer People Mean Fewer Cars? – Population Decline and Car Ownership in Germany
Drawing on household data from Germany, this study econometrically analyzes the determinants of automobile ownership, focusing specifically on the extent to which decreases in family size translate into fewer cars at the national level. Beyond identifying several variables over which policy makers have direct leverage, including the price for fuel, the supply of public transit, and land use features, the analysis uses the estimated coefficients from a multinomial logit model to simulate car ownership rates under alternative scenarios pertaining to demographic change and other socioeconomic variables. Our baseline scenario predicts continued increases in the number of cars despite decreases in population, a trend that could be partially offset by substantial increases in fuel prices.
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