Borgoni, Riccardo, Ewert, Ulf-Christian and Prskawetz, Alexia
How important are household demographic characteristics to explain private car use patterns? A multilevel approach to Austrian data , Rostock, Germany Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
(MPIDR Working Papers, WP-2002-006).
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Private car use is one of the major contributors to pollution in industrialised countries. It is therefore
important to understand the factors that determine the demand for car use. In explaining the variability in
car use, it is important to take into account household demographic characteristics and local and regional
differences in infrastructure, in addition to the economic variables commonly used in the prevailing
literature on the topic. The appropriate tool to explain car ownership and car use is, therefore, a multilevel
statistical approach. An Austrian household survey from 1997 finds that household characteristics such as
age, gender, education and employment of the household head, household size and housing quality can
effect the variability of car ownership and car use. The same survey also gives a clear indication of regional
heterogeneity. This heterogeneity persists when we controlled for the variability of regional economic
welfare and infrastructure as indicated by population density.
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