Exploring the Relationship Between Travel Demand and Economic Growth

Published in: Exploring the Relationship between Travel Demand and Economic Growth. (Washington, D.C. : Office of Transportation Policy Studies, Federal Highway Administration, Dec. 2012), 43 p

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2012

by Liisa Ecola, Martin Wachs

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This paper presents results of an assessment of the state of research on "decoupling" the relationship between vehicle travel and economic growth. In the United States, the long-term trend has been for vehicle travel, as measured in total VMT, to increase at similar rates as economic growth, as measured in gross domestic product (GDP). The goal of this study was to identify policies that have been successful at decoupling the two. It is important to learn whether some countries, states, regions, or local governments have been able to discourage growth in--or even decrease--VMT while simultaneously encouraging economic growth.

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