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The Effect of Metro Rail on Air Pollution in Delhi

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  • Deepti Goel

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)

  • Sonam Gupta

    (IMPAQ International)

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    Abstract

    The Delhi Metro (DM) is an electric based public transit system serving the National CapitalRegion of India. We used data from 2004 to 2006, for three criteria pollutants, namely, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM2:5), and quantified the effect of theDMon the levels of these pollutants. Using a Regression Discontinuity approach our analysis shows that the extension of various lines of the DM led to a decrease in the levels of all three transportation source pollutants. Looking across two different locations within the city, and across various metro rail extensions, we find that expansion of the DM resulted in a 10 to 28 percent reduction in NO2, a 13 to 68 percent reduction in CO, and a 11 percent reduction in PM2:5. These estimates are to be interpreted as the localised short run impact, and they point to a strong traffic diversion effect of the DM.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its series Working papers with number 229.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: May 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:229

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    1. Enrico Moretti & Matthew Neidell, 2011. "Pollution, Health, and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from the Ports of Los Angeles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 154-175.
    2. Yihsu Chen & Alexander Whalley, 2012. "Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 58-97, February.
    3. Janet Currie & W. Reed Walker, 2009. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," NBER Working Papers 15413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2004. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 10251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    6. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
    7. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
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