Mastering the metropolis through research and thought leadership.
Working Papers

Urban form and driving: Evidence from US cities

Working paper #794
Gilles Duranton and Matthew A. Turner

We estimate the effect of urban form on driving. We match the best available travel survey for the United States to spatially disaggregated national maps that describe population density and demographics, sectoral employment and land cover, among other things. We develop a novel approach to the sorting problem that follows from an intuitive definition of sorting and an assumption of imperfect mobility. We address the endogeneity problem by relying on measures of subterranean geology as sources of quasi-random variation in urban form. The data suggest that increases in density cause small decreases in individual driving. However, because densification policies must generally decrease population in source regions, this means that such policies can be expected to cause only tiny decreases in aggregate driving. This suggests that urban planning is unlikely to be a cost effective policy response to traffic congestion, automobile-related carbon emissions, or other automobile-related pollution.

Download full paper · 6MB PDF


In This Section
Explore Topics

1010 Affordable Housing Amazon Amenitization Architecture Artificial Intelligence Asia Australia automation Autonomous Vehicles bonds Borrowing Constraints Brexit California Canada Capital Business China Co-Working Environment coastal markets cold storage Colombia Commercial Brokerage Commercial Real Estate commissions Congestion consumer bias covid-19 CRE credit card market Credit Default Swaps Credit Insurance Credit Risk Transfers Culture Data Analytics data centers Data Collection Technology Debt Market Demand Demographics Density Development Discrete Choice disruption Diversity drones e-Commerce Economic Corridors economic policy economics education election studies Equity Funds Equity Market Ethnic Factors Europe Fannie Mae financial asset management Foreclosures Foreign Policy France Freddie Mac general equilibrium Global global economy Global Financial Crisis Globalization great depression Great Recession healthy buildings Hedonic hospitality Housing & Residential housing boom Housing Disease housing prices Housing Supply Identity Income Inequality India inflation Inter-generational mobility interest rates Investing jobs labor market Lagging Regions land use regulation Language life sciences Macroeconomics malls Market Pricing megacities Microeconomics Migration Minimum Payments Mixed-Use Mobility moral hazard mortgage insurance mortgage market Mortgage Rates Mortgages Multi-family Nation Building Non-Traditional Mortgages Office Market office sector pension funds Placed Based Policies Political Risk Price Discovery Private Equity Business public health public policy Public Schools real estate brokerage Real Estate Investment Real Estate Investment Trusts Recession Rental Retail Retirement reverse mortgages Risk Adjustment risk management risk-shifting robotics single family housing Slums Sorting South America Spatial Regions spillover effect stimulus package Sub-Prime Mortgages Sustainability Technology telecommunications trade transportation unemployment United States Urban Urbanization Warehouse welfare work from home

arrow_drop_up