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Driving Restrictions That Work? Quito's Pico y Placa Program


  • Paul E. Carrillo

    () (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Arun S. Malik

    () (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Jiseon Yoo

    (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)


Programs to reduce tra¢ c congestion and air pollution by restricting use of motor vehicles on working days have generally not met with success given existing studies of such programs in a number of cities. We conduct the Örst study of Quito, Ecuadorís three-year-old Pico y Placa program and Önd that it has reduced ambient concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), a pollutant primarily emitted by vehicles, by 9-11% during peak tra¢ c hours. During an extended daytime period that encompasses hours when population exposure to air pollution is likely to be highest, CO concentrations have been reduced by approximately 6%. Given that ambient concentrations of CO generally track the spatial and temporal distributions of tra¢ c, these reductions in pollution suggest similar reductions in vehicle áows.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul E. Carrillo & Arun S. Malik & Jiseon Yoo, 2013. "Driving Restrictions That Work? Quito's Pico y Placa Program," Working Papers 2013-1, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2013-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Claudia N. Berg & Uwe Deichmann & Yishen Liu & Harris Selod, 2017. "Transport Policies and Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 465-480, April.
    3. Blackman, Allen & Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Rivera Planter, Marisol, 2015. "A Contingent Valuation Approach to Estimating Regulatory Costs: Mexico’s Day Without Driving Program," Discussion Papers dp-15-21, Resources For the Future.

    More about this item


    Forecasting; driving restrictions; traffic congestion; air pollution; difference-in-differences;

    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
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

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