Title

THE DEMAND FOR CARS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1997

Subject Area

ridership - demand

Keywords

Under developed countries, Third world, Sociological factors, Social factors, Social class, Less developed countries, Developing countries, Demand, Consumers' preferences, Consumer preferences

Abstract

This paper analyzes the misunderstandings that have occurred in dealing with the private vs. public transportation issue in developing countries. Both the economic view of the car as just a "free consumer desire", and the psychological views of the automobile as symbol of "freedom", "status" and "power" are criticized. An alternative sociological approach to the automobile is proposed, based on transport technology as embedded in the contemporary pattern of social reproduction. It is argued that the demand for automobiles, in addition to its utility, has been induced by urban, economic and transportation policies directed towards selected social sectors -- the middle classes -- who in turn perceive the car as an essential tool for their social reproduction. The same policies keep transit alternatives impractical. Consequently, there are important political (and not psychological) obstacles to alternative, less auto-oriented urban transportation policies.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564