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Voluntary information programs and environmental regulation: Evidence from 'Spare the Air'

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  • Cutter, W. Bowman
  • Neidell, Matthew

Abstract

This paper assesses whether individuals change their transportation choices in response to 'Spare the Air' (STA) advisories, a public voluntary information program in the San Francisco Bay Area that elicits reductions in ozone-producing activities. Since STAs are issued when ozone levels are predicted to exceed a particular threshold, we use a regression discontinuity design to identify the effect of STAs. We also use traffic conditions in Southern California, an area without STAs, to estimate difference-in-differences models. The results suggest that STAs reduce traffic volume and slightly increase the use of public transit, supporting a potential role for voluntary information programs that directly target individuals as a means for improving local air quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Cutter, W. Bowman & Neidell, Matthew, 2009. "Voluntary information programs and environmental regulation: Evidence from 'Spare the Air'," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 253-265, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:58:y:2009:i:3:p:253-265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2012. "Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 264-286, December.
    2. Giovanis, Eleftherios, 2014. "Evaluation of Ozone Smog Alerts on Actual Ozone Concentrations:A Case study in North Carolina," MPRA Paper 64401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Prashant Bharadwaj & Matthew Gibson & Joshua Graff Zivin & Christopher Neilson, 2017. "Gray Matters: Fetal Pollution Exposure and Human Capital Formation," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 505-542.
    4. Steven Sexton, 2012. "Paying for Pollution? How General Equilibrium Effects Undermine the “Spare the Air” Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(4), pages 553-575, December.
    5. Alison L. Sexton Ward & Timothy K. M. Beatty, 2016. "Who Responds to Air Quality Alerts?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(2), pages 487-511, October.
    6. Maureen Cropper & Yi Jiang & Anna Alberini & Patrick Baur, 2014. "Getting Cars Off the Road: The Cost-Effectiveness of an Episodic Pollution Control Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 117-143, January.
    7. de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Villas-Boas, Sofia, 2010. "Short on shots: Are calls for cooperative restraint effective in managing a flu vaccines shortage?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 209-224, November.
    8. repec:gwi:wpaper:2012-06 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Saudamini Das & Stephen C. Smith, 2012. "Awareness As An Adaptation Strategy For Reducing Mortality From Heat Waves: Evidence From A Disaster Risk Management Program In India," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 1-29.
    10. ITO Koichiro & IDA Takanori & TANAKA Makoto, 2015. "The Persistence of Moral Suasion and Economic Incentives: Field experimental evidence from energy demand," Discussion papers 15014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. repec:eee:jeeman:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:72-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Saberian, Soodeh & Heyes, Anthony & Rivers, Nicholas, 2017. "Alerts work! Air quality warnings and cycling," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 165-185.
    13. Curtis, John & Devitt, Niamh & di Cosmo, Valeria & Farrell, Niall & FitzGerald, John & Hyland, Marie & Lynch, Muireann & Lyons, Sean & McCoy, Daire & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura & Walsh, Darragh, 2014. "Irish Energy Policy: An Analysis of Current Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number rs37 edited by FitzGerald, John & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura.
    14. Jason Delaney & Sarah Jacobson, 2016. "Payments or Persuasion: Common Pool Resource Management with Price and Non-price Measures," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(4), pages 747-772, December.
    15. Anna Alberini, Silvia Banfi, and Celine Ramseier, 2013. "Energy Efficiency Investments in the Home: Swiss Homeowners and Expectations about Future Energy Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    16. Anna Alberini & Silvia Banfi & Celine Ramseier, 2011. "Energy Efficiency Investments in the Home: Swiss Homeowners and Expectations about Future Energy Prices," CEPE Working paper series 11-80, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    17. Tribby, Calvin P. & Miller, Harvey J. & Song, Ying & Smith, Ken R., 2013. "Do air quality alerts reduce traffic? An analysis of traffic data from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, Utah, USA," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 173-185.
    18. Miles M. Finney, 2014. "Information And The Demand For Clean Air," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 719-728, October.
    19. Jacobsen, Grant D., 2011. "The Al Gore effect: An Inconvenient Truth and voluntary carbon offsets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 67-78, January.
    20. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2015. "Information/communication technology and natural disaster vulnerability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 143-145.
    21. Sexton, Steven E., 2010. "Rationing Public Goods by Cooperation or Pecuniary Incentives: Evidence from the Spare-the-Air Program," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5xs9r6t8, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    22. Brooks Depro & Raymond B. Palmquist, 2012. "How Do Ozone Levels Influence the Timing of Residential Moves?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(1), pages 43-57.
    23. Emma Aisbett & Ralf Steinhauser, 2014. "Maintaining the Common Pool: Voluntary Water Conservation in Response to Varying Scarcity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(2), pages 167-185, October.
    24. repec:eee:eneeco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:215-227 is not listed on IDEAS

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