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Getting Cars Off the Road: The Cost-Effectiveness of an Episodic Pollution Control Program

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  • Maureen Cropper

    ()

  • Yi Jiang

    ()

  • Anna Alberini

    ()

  • Patrick Baur

    ()

Abstract

Ground-level ozone remains a serious problem in the United States. Because ozone non-attainment is a summer problem, episodic rather than continuous controls of ozone precursors are possible. We evaluate the costs and emissions reductions of a program that requires people to buy permits to drive on high-ozone days. We estimate the demand function for permits based on a survey of 1,300 households in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Assuming that all vehicle owners comply with the scheme, the permit program would reduce nitrogen oxides ( $$\text{ NO }_{\mathrm{x}}$$ NO x ) by 42 tons per Code Red day at a permit price of $75. Allowing for non-compliance by 15 % of respondents reduces the effectiveness of the scheme to 33 tons of $$\text{ NO }_{\mathrm{x}}$$ NO x per day. The cost per ozone season of achieving these reductions is approximately $9 million (2008 USD). Although year-round measures, such as the Tier II emissions standards, might be preferred on benefit-cost grounds, an episodic permit system might be considered as an interim measure before the Tier II emissions standards are fully reflected in the vehicle fleet. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:57:y:2014:i:1:p:117-143
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-013-9669-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 38-81, February.
    2. 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.
    3. Krupnick, Alan J. & Farrell, Deirdre, 1996. "Six Steps to a Healthier Ambient Ozone Policy," Discussion Papers 10752, Resources for the Future.
    4. Maximilian Auffhammer & Ryan Kellogg, 2011. "Clearing the Air? The Effects of Gasoline Content Regulation on Air Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2687-2722, October.
    5. Gary T. Henry & Craig S. Gordon, 2003. "Driving less for better air: Impacts of a public information campaign," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 45-63.
    6. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-719, November.
    7. Ronald Cummings & Mary Beth Walker, 2000. "Measuring the effectiveness of voluntary emission reduction programmes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1719-1726.
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    Cited by:

    1. Viard, V. Brian & Fu, Shihe, 2015. "The effect of Beijing's driving restrictions on pollution and economic activity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 98-115.
    2. repec:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/697416 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jorge A. Bonilla & Fernando Carriazo, 2018. "Assessing Social Experiments Using Apps: The Case of Car-Free Days in Bogotá," Documentos CEDE 016856, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:11:p:4147-:d:182066 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Allen Blackman & Francisco Alpízar & Fredrik Carlsson & Marisol Rivera Planter, 2018. "A Contingent Valuation Approach to Estimating Regulatory Costs: Mexico’s Day without Driving Program," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 607-641.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ground-level ozone; Episodic pollution control schemes ; Mobile sources; Oxides of nitrogen $$(text{ NO }_{mathrm{x}})$$ ( NO x ) ; Cost per ton of $$text{ NO }_{mathrm{x}}$$ NO x removed; Q52; Q53; Q58;

    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

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