Economic Development and Changes in Car Ownership Patterns
XREAP No. 2006-01
34 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 1, 2006
The contributions of this paper are twofold: On the one hand, the paper analyses the factors determining the growth in car ownership in Spain over the last two decades, and, on the other, the paper provides empirical evidence for a controversial methodological issue. From a methodological point of view, the paper compares the two alternative decision mechanisms used for modelling car ownership: ordered-response versus unordered-response mechanisms. A discrete choice model is estimated at three points in time: 1980, 1990 and 2000. The study concludes that on the basis of forecasting performance, the multinomial logit model and the ordered probit model are almost undistinguishable. As for the empirical results, it can be emphasised that income elasticity is not constant and declines as car ownership increases. Besides, households living in rural areas are less sensitive than those living in urban areas. Car ownership is also sensitive to the quality of public transport for those living in the largest cities. The results also confirmed the existence of a generation effect, which will vanish around the year 2020, a weak life-cycle effect, and a positive effect of employment on the number of cars per household. Finally, the change in the estimated coefficients over time reflects an increase in mobility needs and, consequently, an increase in car ownership.
Keywords: car ownership, ordered probit model, multinomial logit model
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