Working Paper BETA #2022-19

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Title : The Digital Transition for a Sustainable Mobility Regime? A Long-Run Perspective

Author(s) : Ralph Hippe, Damien Demailly, Claude Diebolt

Abstract : New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been praised to massively transform our economies, and to be the foundation of a new and more sustainable mobility regime. But will they? And if so, how could ICTs help building it? While the newest ICTs such as the internet are in some ways unique, in other respects they have historical predecessors (such as the telegraph and the telephone) that are worth considering. This paper reviews the literature and shows that ‘older’ ICTs have transformed our mobility regime in significant and unpredictable ways. In particular, they have supported and made more efficient new transport modes, contributed to the geographical concentration and dispersion trends of economic activities and changed how and how much we connect to our families and friends. ICTs can help building more sustainable mobility e.g., by making transport more efficient or reducing mobility demand in some cases, but overall the interactions between mobility and ICTs turn out to be important, diverse and complex.

Key-words : Green deal, ICT, Digital transition, Mobility, Technological transformation, Innovation.

JEL Classification : N10, N90, O14, O18, O33, R41, R42.