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Evaluating Public Policies with High Frequency Data: Evidence for Driving Restrictions in Mexico City Revisited

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  • Christian Salas

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    Abstract

    The evaluation of public policies is on the heart of the e cient management of public resources. As complex as it generally is, any reform should be assessed on its ability to achieve its preconceived goals. This research paper attempts to show the importance of the design of a public policy's empirical evaluation, considering the susceptibility that its conclusions might have to changes in the approach to the data. The work of Davis (2008), which nds that a driving restrictions program had no impact on air quality in Mexico City, is revisited showing that reasonable changes in the methodology used can dramatically alter its conclusions. Additionally, evidence is presented that shows the success of the restrictions program in reducing air pollution by 12 to 18% during the first months of its implementation followed by a gradual increase in pollutants concentration, consistent with more limited opportunities for adaptation to the policy in the short-run. Finally, an alternative and robust framework is proposed to carry out the policy evaluation con rming the reduction of pollution right after the program's implementation.

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    File URL: http://www.economia.puc.cl/docs/dt_374.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 374.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:374

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    Keywords: Policy evaluation; air quality; regression discontinuity;

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    1. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    2. Montero, Juan-Pablo & Sanchez, Jose Miguel & Katz, Ricardo, 2002. "A Market-Based Environmental Policy Experiment in Chile," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 267-87, April.
    3. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," NBER Working Papers 14726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Greenstone, 1998. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufacturers," Working Papers 787, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "On Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 857-60, October.
    6. Montero, J-P., 2004. "Pollution Markets with Imperfectly Observed Emissions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0456, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
    8. Oates, Wallace E & Portney, Paul R & McGartland, Albert M, 1989. "The Net Benefits of Incentive-Based Regulation: A Case Study of Environmental Standard Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1233-42, December.
    9. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 38-81, 02.
    10. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
    11. David S. Lee & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Crime, Punishment, and Myopia," NBER Working Papers 11491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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.

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