Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 47–68 | Cite as

Breaking automotive modal lock-in: a choice modelling study of Jakarta commuters

  • Jeremy Webb
  • Max Briggs
  • Clevo Wilson
Research Article


The automotive domination in high-growth Asian conurbations is typically seen as the outcome of conventional market forces driven by income and aspirational consumer motivations. Proposed here is a more complex explanation, where path-dependent growth and associated positive feedback mechanisms underlie a staged process that evolves into a non-Pareto efficient form of market failure, inflicting a decline in the quality of urban life. Positive feedback mechanisms and imperfect information create ‘automotive modal lock-in’ (AML) forming a barrier to possible superior alternatives. This study uses a choice modelling experiment with Jakarta commuters to test the role of negative externalities in modal choice, measuring the extent to which commuters may be willing to trade off automotive use for a reduction in negative externalities. The results present an indication of how the process of AML reversal could begin.


Automotive Public transport Market failure Path dependence Lock-in 


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Copyright information

© Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies and Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.QUT Business School, School of Economics and FinanceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.AMPR, QUT Business School, School of Advertising, Marketing and Public RelationsQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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