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Road transport externalities in Mexico: Estimates and international comparisons


  • Cravioto, Jordi
  • Yamasue, Eiji
  • Okumura, Hideyuki
  • Ishihara, Keiichi N.


In Mexico, as in many developing countries, no monetary estimates of road transport externalities exist. The abundant empirical evidence from the developed world appears to show such research reaching maturity. Yet, several barriers to deriving basic estimates among developing countries persist. In this study, we addressed such difficulties for the Mexican context, and by pooling the available data and using well-established methods, we calculated six categories of estimates. The results showed that road transport externalities amount to at least 59.42 (44.8–73.97) billion US dollars per year or 6.24% (4.71–7.77%) of GDP. By component, accidents represented the largest share (28%), followed by congestion (22%), greenhouse gases (21%), air pollution (13%), infrastructure (7%), and noise (9%). By vehicle type, cars had the highest costs per pkm, and buses had the highest costs per vkm. The costs of road transport externalities in Mexico ranked between those of developed and developing regions, but we found some notable differences when comparing the impacts per pkm of the four largest externalities. We discuss such differences and the policy implications of our findings. We also provide suggestions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Cravioto, Jordi & Yamasue, Eiji & Okumura, Hideyuki & Ishihara, Keiichi N., 2013. "Road transport externalities in Mexico: Estimates and international comparisons," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 63-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:30:y:2013:i:c:p:63-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.08.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2010. "How should passenger travel in Mexico City be priced?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 167-182, September.
    2. Rothengatter, Werner, 1994. "Do external benefits compensate for external costs of transport?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 321-328, July.
    3. Juan de Dios Ortúzar & Luis A Cifuentes & Huw C W L Williams, 2000. "Application of willingness-to-pay methods to value transport externalities in less developed countries," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(11), pages 2007-2018, November.
    4. Delucchi, Mark A. & McCubbin, Donald R., 2010. "External Costs of Transport in the U.S," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt13n8v8gq, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    5. Sen, Akshaya Kumar & Tiwari, Geetam & Upadhyay, Vrajaindra, 2010. "Estimating marginal external costs of transport in Delhi," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 27-37, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Loo, Becky P.Y. & Banister, David, 2016. "Decoupling transport from economic growth: Extending the debate to include environmental and social externalities," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 134-144.


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