Household car ownership in urban and rural areas in Sweden 1999–2008

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Christopher Creutzer

This paper studies household car ownership in urban and rural areas in Sweden using register data for all adult Swedes from 1999 to 2008. Data for individuals are linked to members of the same household, allowing us to estimate models of households. Multinomial ordered probit models for households’ private car ownership in Sweden are estimated and used to compare urban and rural households with respect to sensitivity of car ownership. The central result from comparing urban and rural households is that rural households are less likely to exit from car ownership and more likely to increase car ownership than comparable urban households. This supports the notion that rural households are more dependent on their cars than urban households. Rural car ownership is also more sensitive to fuel price changes and the number of adults in the household. Compared with other countries, our results indicate that Swedish households’ car ownership is very resistant to change. The status of the previous year’s car ownership as well as car ownership status in 1999 is dominant factors for household car ownership in 2008. Households with young adults are more likely to cease their car ownership and households with senior members are only slightly more likely to cease car ownership than middle-aged households. Households with higher income are less likely to cease car ownership then lower income households and more likely to increase their car ownership. Permanent income, defined as the average income over the period, has a larger positive impact on car ownership than current income.

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