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Air quality warnings and temporary driving bans: Evidence from air pollution, car trips, and mass-transit ridership in Santiago

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  • Rivera, Nathaly M.

Abstract

Driving restrictions are a common governmental strategy to reduce airborne pollution and traffic congestion in many cities of the world. Using high-frequency data on air pollution, car trips, and mass-transit systems ridership, I evaluate the effectiveness of temporary driving bans triggered by air quality warnings in Santiago, Chile. I employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design that uses the thresholds in the air quality index used to announce these warnings as instruments for their announcement. Results show that these temporary bans reduce car trips by 6–9% during peak hours, and by 7–8% during off-peak hours. This is consistent with air pollution reductions during peak hours, and with increases in the use of Santiago's mass-transit systems during hours the systems run with excess capacity. Increments in mass-transit ridership uncover the importance of alternative modes of transportation in securing the effectiveness of temporary driving bans.

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  • Rivera, Nathaly M., 2021. "Air quality warnings and temporary driving bans: Evidence from air pollution, car trips, and mass-transit ridership in Santiago," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:108:y:2021:i:c:s0095069621000371
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102454
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    3. Jorge A Bonilla & Alejandro Lopez-Feldman, Paula Pereda, Nathaly M. Rivera, J. Cristobal Ruiz-Tagle, 2021. "Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19 Mortality in Latin America," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2021_23, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), revised 11 Jan 2022.
    4. Chen, Dongxu & Sun, Yu & Yang, Zhongzhen, 2020. "Optimization of the travel ban scheme of cars based on the spatial distribution of the last digit of license plates," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 43-53.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Air quality; Air pollution; Driving restrictions; Pollution alerts; Environmental episodes; Traffic flows; Chile; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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