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The impact of low emission zones on PM10 levels in urban areas in Germany

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  • Malina, Christiane
  • Fischer, Frauke
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    Abstract

    High levels of particulate matter scaling less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) in many urban areas have led to the introduction of binding PM10 limit values by the European Commission in 2005. Road transport in inner city areas is believed to be one of the main contributors to accumulated PM10 levels and, thus, is the focus of regulation. One of the strongest regulatory mechanisms to meet the new PM10 air quality standard is the introduction of low emission zones (LEZs) in Germany. This policy allows local authorities to define geographical areas in urban agglomerations as LEZs, into which vehicles that do not meet predetermined emission standards are prohibited from entering. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of LEZs on reducing PM10 levels in German cities. We employ a fixed effects panel data model to analyze the effects of LEZs on daily PM10 levels using data from 2000 to 2009. We take into account daily data for meteorological conditions and traffic volume. The results of the analysis reveal that the introduction of LEZs has significantly reduced daily PM10 levels in urban areas. We can also show that PM10 levels are significantly driven down further when LEZ standards in cities become more stringent over time. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster in its series CAWM Discussion Papers with number 58.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cawmdp:58

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    Keywords: Particulate matter; low emission zones; panel data;

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    1. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Bento, Antonio M. & Lowe, Scott E., 2008. "Measuring the Effects of the Clean Air Act Amendments on Ambient PM10 Concentrations: The critical importance of a spatially disaggregated analysis," Working Papers 127077, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    2. John Fernald, 1997. "Roads to prosperity? assessing the link between public capital and productivity," International Finance Discussion Papers 592, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    4. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1999. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," NBER Working Papers 7442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ozbay, Kaan & Ozmen-Ertekin, Dilruba & Berechman, Joseph, 2007. "Contribution of transportation investments to county output," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 317-329, July.
    6. Maximilian Auffhammer & Ryan Kellogg, 2011. "Clearing the Air? The Effects of Gasoline Content Regulation on Air Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2687-2722, October.
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