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Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality

Author

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  • Yihsu Chen
  • Alexander Whalley

Abstract

The transportation sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide, yet little is known about the effects of transportation infrastructure on air quality. This paper quantifies the effects of one major type of transportation infrastructure—urban rail transit—on air quality using the sharp discontinuity in ridership on opening day of a new rail transit system in Taipei. We find that the opening of the Metro reduced air pollution from one key tailpipe pollutant, carbon monoxide, by 5 to 15 percent. Little evidence that the opening of the Metro affected ground level ozone pollution is found however. (JEL L92, Q53, R41, R53)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:1:p:58-97
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.1.58
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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