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For Whom the Bell Tolls: Road Safety Effects of Tolls on Uncongested SCUT Highways in Portugal

Author

Listed:
  • Alfredo Marvão Pereira

    (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg VA 23187)

  • Rui Marvão Pereira

    (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg VA 23187)

  • João Pereira dos Santos

    (Nova School of Business and Economics, Faculdade de Economia – Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Abstract

We present a difference-in-differences analysis of the road safety effects of introducing tolls on SCUT highways in Portugal, a policy motivated purely by financial considerations, as congestion was never an issue. Using negative binomial count models and a comprehensive dataset on all mainland municipalities covering 2008 to 2014, we find that introducing tolls led to an increase in the total numbers of accidents and of road injuries in municipalities where SCUT highways are located. Additionally, we register a change in the composition thereof, with fewer occurrences on highways (including on SCUT highways) and an increase on national and other roads. Finally, we find that most effects pertain to light injuries. No statistically significant effects were identified for fatal or serious injuries. Furthermore, as a result of introducing tolls on SCUT highways, we estimate that around 20% of the toll revenue collected is lost on the costs linked to road accidents. This questions the rationale of introducing such tolls, even on a revenue-raising standpoint.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Rui Marvão Pereira & João Pereira dos Santos, 2017. "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Road Safety Effects of Tolls on Uncongested SCUT Highways in Portugal," GEE Papers 0074, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jul 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0074
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    File URL: http://www.gee.gov.pt/RePEc/WorkingPapers/GEE_PAPERS_74.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Road safety; Accident; Injury; Toll; Difference-in-differences; SCUT; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • 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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