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Rationing Can Backfire: The "Day without a Car" in Mexico City

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  • Eskeland, Gunnar S
  • Feyzioglu, Tarhan

Abstract

A ban restricting each car from driving on a specified weekday is found to have increased total driving in Mexico City. Because of the ban, cars effectively represent "driving permits," and some households have bought an additional car and increased their driving. Greater use of old cars, congestion effects, and increased weekend driving may also have contributed to the disappointing results. The ban has high welfare costs and does not deliver the intended benefits of reduced driving--quite the contrary. The experience provides an interesting lesson in applied welfare economics. Theory indicates that this is a costly way of reducing traffic and pollution. But the findings that the strategy is counterproductive could be made only with applied quantitative analysis. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 383-408

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:383-408

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References

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  1. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  2. Eskeland, Gunnar S, 1994. "A Presumptive Pigovian Tax: Complementing Regulation to Mimic an Emissions Fee," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 373-94, September.
  3. Berndt, Ernst R. & Botero, German, 1985. "Energy demand in the transportation sector of Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 219-238, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Viard, Brian & Fu, Shihe, 2011. "The effect of Beijing’s driving restrictions on pollution and economic activity," MPRA Paper 33009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Gallego, Francisco & Montero, Juan-Pablo & Salas, Christian, 2013. "The effect of transport policies on car use: A bundling model with applications," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages S85-S97.
  3. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Mideksa, Torben K., 2008. "Transportation fuel use, technology and standards: The role of credibility and expectations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4695, The World Bank.
  4. Carlos Alberto Medina & Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 2011. "Aglomeración económica y congestión vial: los perjuicios por racionamiento del tráfico vehicular," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 009085, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  5. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Jian Xie, 1998. "Acting globally while thinking locally : is the global environment protected by transport emission control programs?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1975, The World Bank.
  6. Wang, Rui, 2010. "Shaping urban transport policies in China: Will copying foreign policies work?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 147-152, May.
  7. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2009. "Pricing externalities from passenger transportation in Mexico city," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5071, The World Bank.
  8. Heil, Mark & Pargal, Sheoli, 1998. "Reducing air pollution from urban passenger transport : a framework for policy analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1991, The World Bank.
  9. Eskeland, Gunnar & Chingying Kong, 1998. "Protecting the environment and the poor - a public goods framework applied to Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1961, The World Bank.
  10. Zhu, Shanjiang & Du, Longyuan & Zhang, Lei, 2013. "Rationing and pricing strategies for congestion mitigation: Behavioral theory, econometric model, and application in Beijing," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 210-224.
  11. Alva González, Miguel Ángel, 2008. "Environmentally Unfriendly Consumption Behaviour: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence from Private Motorists in Mexico City," MPRA Paper 18019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Maconi, Laura & Shirvani, Tara & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part I: Externalities and economic policies in road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 2-45.
  13. Crôtte, Amado & Noland, Robert B. & Graham, Daniel J., 2010. "An analysis of gasoline demand elasticities at the national and local levels in Mexico," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4445-4456, August.
  14. Eskeland, Gunnar S., 2000. "Externalities and production efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2319, The World Bank.
  15. Gallego, Francisco & Montero, Juan-Pablo & Salas, Christian, 2013. "The effect of transport policies on car use: Evidence from Latin American cities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 47-62.
  16. Francisco Gallego & Juan-Pablo Montero & Christian Salas, 2011. "The Effect of Transport Policies on Car Use: Theory and Evidence from Latin American Cities," Documentos de Trabajo 407, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  17. Timilsina, Govinda R. & Dulal, Hari B., 2009. "A review of regulatory instruments to control environmental externalities from the transport sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4867, The World Bank.

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