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Did the London Congestion Charge Reduce Pollution?

Author

Listed:
  • Colin Green
  • John Spencer Heywood
  • Maria Navarro Paniagua

Abstract

We examine the London congestion charge introduced in 2003 and demonstrate significant reductions in a number of pollutants relative to controls. We even find evidence of reductions per mile driven suggesting amelioration of a congestion externality. Yet, we find a robust countervailing increase in harmful NO2 likely reflecting the disproportionate share of diesel vehicles exempt from the congestion charge. This unintended consequence informs on-going concern about pollution from diesel based vehicles and provides a cautionary note regarding substitution effects implicit in congestion charging schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Green & John Spencer Heywood & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2018. "Did the London Congestion Charge Reduce Pollution?," Working Papers 237385060, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:237385060
    as

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    File URL: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/lums/economics/working-papers/LancasterWP2018_007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Björn Hårsman & John M. Quigley, 2010. "Political and public acceptability of congestion pricing: Ideology and self-interest," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 854-874.
    2. Aaron S. Edlin & Pinar Karaca-Mandic, 2006. "The Accident Externality from Driving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 931-955, October.
    3. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    4. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2016. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 350-366, May.
    5. Green, Colin P. & Heywood, John S. & Navarro, María, 2016. "Traffic accidents and the London congestion charge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 11-22.
    6. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    7. Jonathan Leape, 2006. "The London Congestion Charge," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 157-176, Fall.
    8. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    9. Gibson, Matthew & Carnovale, Maria, 2015. "The effects of road pricing on driver behavior and air pollution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 62-73.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution; Traffic; Congestion Charging;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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