Policy Article

Economic growth without additional transport services? Some questioning remarks to the de-coupling hypothesis (original publication in German)


  • Laaser
  • C.-F.
Publication Date

Transport-related external environmental and congestion costs are often considered unacceptable. Therefore, it has been discussed for some time whether economic growth would be possible without corresponding growth in transport services, in line with developments in the energy sector. However, the empirical picture for the main industrialized countries shows that so far the relationship between the growth of transport services and that of GDP has remained close. An analysis of important determinants of transport intensity shows that a significant decoupling of traffic and economic growth will be difficult to achieve in the future without any loss of growth.

Kiel Institute Expert


Key Words

  • external costs of transport
  • spatial economics
  • Transport policy