A Quantitative Analysis of Suburbanization and the Diffusion of the Automobile
Karen A. Kopecky
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; University of Western Ontario - Department of Economics
Richard M. H. Suen
University of Connecticut
November 18, 2010
International Economic Review, Vol. 51, Issue 4, pp. 1003-1037, 2010
Suburbanization in the United States between 1910 and 1970 was concurrent with the diffusion of the automobile. A circular city model is developed in order to access quantitatively the contribution of automobiles and rising incomes to suburbanization. The model incorporates a number of driving forces of suburbanization and car adoption, including falling automobile prices, rising real incomes, changing costs of traveling by car and with public transportation, and urban population growth. According to the model, 60% of postwar (1940-1970) suburbanization can be explained by these factors. Rising real incomes and falling automobile prices are shown to be the key drivers of suburbanization.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Date posted: January 1, 2011
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