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Does Supporting Passenger Railways Reduce Road Traffic Externalities?

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  • Lalive, Rafael
  • Luechinger, Simon
  • Schmutzler, Armin

Abstract

Many governments subsidize regional rail service as an alternative to road traffic. This paper assesses whether increases in service frequency reduce road traffic externalities. We exploit differences in service frequency growth by procurement mode following a railway reform in Germany to address endogeneity of service growth. Increases in service frequency reduce the number of severe road traffic accidents, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide pollution and infant mortality. Placebo regressions with sulfur dioxide and ozone yield no effect. Service frequency growth between 1994 and 2004 improves environmental quality by an amount that is worth approximately 28-40 % of total subsidies. An analysis of household behavior shows that the effects of railway services on outcome variables are driven by substitution from road to rail.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9335.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9335

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Keywords: Pollution; Public Transport; Railways; Road Accidents;

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  1. Chay, Kenneth & Dobkin, Carlos & Greenstone, Michael, 2003. " The Clean Air Act of 1970 and Adult Mortality," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 279-300, December.
  2. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  4. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "Auctions vs Negotiations in Public Procurement: Which Works Better?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," NBER Working Papers 10053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. 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.
  12. Armin Schmutzler, 2011. "Local Transportation Policy and the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 511-535, March.
  13. Janet Currie & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2009. "Fetal Exposures to Toxic Releases and Infant Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 177-83, May.
  14. Nash, Chris, 2008. "Passenger railway reform in the last 20 years - European experience reconsidered," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-70, January.
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  16. Mendelsohn, Robert & Orcutt, Guy, 1979. "An empirical analysis of air pollution dose-response curves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 85-106, June.
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