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Does a Rise in Income Inequality Lead to Rises in Transportation Inequality and Mobility Practice Inequality?

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Purwanto, Joko

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Abstract Social and economic inequalities have sharpened in the late 20th century. During this period, Europe has witnessed a rising unemployment rate, a declining wages for the least qualified workers, a slowing of income growth, and an increasing gap between the richest and the poorest. Based on the hypothesis of the relation between socio-economic condition and mobility behaviour, it is necessary to ask how these socio-economic inequalities manifest themselves in transportation: does a rise in income inequality lead to a rise in transportation inequality and mobility practice inequality? This question is particularly relevant today as some European countries are facing high socio-economic inequalities following the financial crisis that started in 2008. Using results from transport, car ownership and mobility surveys as well as household surveys from the Paris (Île-de-France) region between eighties and late nineties, this paper tries to answer this question. The results show how inequalities in transportation and mobility practice have decreased during the period in spite of an increase in income inequalities. We find that the evolution of socio-economic inequality, most specifically income inequality was simply one of the determining factors of the evolution of inequalities in transportation and mobility practice. In fact, the most important role in that evolution is not played by the evolution of income inequality but by the evolution of elasticity between transportation and income. Reducing the effects of this elasticity should be the main target of transport policies to diminish inequality in transportation and mobility practice. (author's abstract)
Keywords social inequality; life style; socioeconomic factors; socioeconomic development; mobility; private motor vehicle traffic; choice of means of transport; everyday life; action; difference in income; household income; historical development; France
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Sociology of Traffic
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 110-132
Journal Social Inclusion, 4 (2016) 3
Issue topic Transport Policy and Social Inclusion
ISSN 2183-2803
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution