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Mobility and congestion in urban India

Author

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  • Akbar, Prottoy A.
  • Couture, Victor
  • Duranton, Gilles
  • Storeygard, Adam

Abstract

We develop a methodology to estimate robust city level vehicular mobility indices, and apply it to 154 Indian cities using 22 million counterfactual trips measured by a web mapping service. There is wide variation in mobility across cities. An exact decomposition shows this variation is driven more by differences in uncongested mobility than congestion. Under plausible assumptions, a one standard deviation improvement in uncongested speed creates much more mobility than optimal congestion pricing. Denser and more populated cities are slower, only in part because of congestion. Urban economic development is correlated with better (uncongested and overall) mobility despite worse congestion.

Suggested Citation

  • Akbar, Prottoy A. & Couture, Victor & Duranton, Gilles & Storeygard, Adam, 2018. "Mobility and congestion in urban India," CEPR Discussion Papers 13291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13291
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    2. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2019. "The Costs of Agglomeration: House and Land Prices in French Cities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1556-1589.
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    8. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-2652, October.
    9. Hanna, Rema & Kreindler, Gabriel & Olken, Benjamin A., 2016. "Citywide Effects of High-Occupancy Vehicle Restrictions: Evidence from the Elimination of "3-in-1" in Jakarta," Working Paper Series rwp17-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    10. Gloria Sheu, 2014. "Price, Quality, and Variety: Measuring the Gains from Trade in Differentiated Products," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 66-89, October.
    11. Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), 2015. "Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 5.
    12. Geroliminis, Nikolas & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2008. "Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 759-770, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. J. Vernon Henderson & Matthew A. Turner, 2020. "Urbanization in the Developing World: Too Early or Too Slow?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 150-173, Summer.
    2. Panle Jia Barwick & Yanyan Liu & Eleonora Patacchini & Qi Wu, 2019. "Information, Mobile Communication, and Referral Effects," NBER Working Papers 25873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gilles Duranton & Geetika Nagpal & Matthew A. Turner, 2020. "Transportation Infrastructure in the US," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Analysis and Infrastructure Investment, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ang, Amanda & Christensen, Peter & Vieira, Renato, 2020. "Should congested cities reduce their speed limits? Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    5. Yizhen Gu & Chang Jiang & Junfu Zhang & Ben Zou, 2021. "Subways and Road Congestion," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 83-115, April.
    6. Antonio Bento & Kevin Roth & Andrew R. Waxman, 2020. "Avoiding Traffic Congestion Externalities? The Value of Urgency," NBER Working Papers 26956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cities; determinants of travel speed; roads; traffic; urban transportation;
    All these keywords.

    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

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