« The Carbon Carprint of Suburbanization, New Evidence from French Cities » , with Miren Lafourcade and Camille de Thé
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2021 (also CEPR DP 13086, 2018)

This paper investigates the impact of urban form on car usage and driving emissions within French metropolitan areas using a novel set of urban form metrics relying on the “3 D’s” typology proposed by Cervero & Kockelman (1997) : Density, Design and Diversity In particular, we introduce a novel indicator of the Design, the fractal dimension of the built environment that captures differences in urban morphology likely to nurture car dependence in French cities.The use of an Heckman procedure allow us to account for households’ preferences for driving, while historical and geological instruments allows to account for endogeneity issues. Using this comprehensive description of urban form, our results exhibit a unprecedented bell-shaped relationship between city size and car emissions per household in France, driven by Design and Diversity.

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