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Effects of a mileage tax for trucks


  • Luechinger, Simon
  • Roth, Florian


We evaluate the effect of the introduction of a mileage tax for trucks in Switzerland in 2001 on traffic volume and externalities. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find a reduction in overall truck traffic of around 4–6%, no effects on car traffic and time-shifted placebos, suggestive evidence for traffic substitution toward rail, and negative effects on nitrogen oxides at curbside monitors. Complementary estimates on the effects of the German mileage tax and complementary estimates based on the synthetic control method are broadly consistent with our main results, although the latter are not statistically significant. Depending on prevailing levels of transportation costs, mileage tax-induced transportation cost increases may accelerate or reverse spatial economic concentration processes. Such implications for economic geography featured prominently in Switzerland and are a promising area for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Luechinger, Simon & Roth, Florian, 2016. "Effects of a mileage tax for trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:92:y:2016:i:c:p:1-15 DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.09.005

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    Cited by:

    1. Rickman, Dan S. & Wang, Hongbo, 2018. "Two tales of two U.S. states: Regional fiscal austerity and economic performance," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 46-55.
    2. Matthias Klumpp, 2016. "To Green or Not to Green: A Political, Economic and Social Analysis for the Past Failure of Green Logistics," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-22, May.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:441:d:69422 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:regeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:25-41 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Mileage tax; Heavy vehicle fee; Regression discontinuity design; Synthetic control method;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling


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