IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The effect of Beijing’s driving restrictions on pollution and economic activity

  • Viard, Brian
  • Fu, Shihe

We evaluate the environmental and economic effects of Beijing’s driving restrictions. Based on daily data from multiple monitoring stations, air pollution falls 19% during every-other-day and 8% during one-day-per-week restrictions. Based on hourly viewership data, the number of television viewers during the restrictions increases 1.7 to 2.3% for workers with discretionary work time but is unaffected for workers without, consistent with the restrictions’ higher per-day commute costs reducing daily labor. Causal effects are identified from both time-series and spatial variation in air quality and intra-day variation in viewership. We provide possible reasons for the policy’s success, including evidence of high compliance based on parking garage entrance records. Our results contrast with previous findings of no pollution reductions from driving restrictions and provide new evidence on commute costs and labor supply.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33009.

in new window

Date of creation: 25 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33009
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Yuyu Chen & Ginger Zhe Jin & Naresh Kumar & Guang Shi, 2011. "The Promise of Beijing: Evaluating the Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Air Quality," NBER Working Papers 16907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christian Salas, 2010. "Evaluating Public Policies with High Frequency Data: Evidence for Driving Restrictions in Mexico City Revisited," Documentos de Trabajo 374, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  3. 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 2616-52, October.
  4. Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2011. "The Effect of Pollution on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Mexico City," NBER Working Papers 17302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eva Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau & Jos van Ommeren, 2009. "Labour Supply and Commuting," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 222, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Wolff, Hendrik, 2014. "Keep Your Clunker in the Suburb: Low Emission Zones and Adoption of Green Vehicles," IZA Discussion Papers 8180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Eva Gutierrez-i-Puigarnau & Jos van Ommeren, 2009. "Labour Supply and Commuting: Implications for Optimal Road Taxes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-008/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Hanna, Rema N. & Greenstone, Michael, 2011. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," Scholarly Articles 5131505, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," NBER Working Papers 14726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hendrik Wolff, 2014. "Keep Your Clunker in the Suburb: Low‐emission Zones and Adoption of Green Vehicles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(578), pages F481-F512, 08.
  11. 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.
  12. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  14. Yihsu Chen & Alexander Whalley, 2012. "Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 58-97, February.
  15. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
  16. Parry, Ian W.H. & Walls, Margaret & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Discussion Papers dp-06-26, Resources For the Future.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  18. 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.
  19. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
  21. Black, Dan A. & Kolesnikova, Natalia & Taylor, Lowell J., 2014. "Why do so few women work in New York (and so many in Minneapolis)? Labor supply of married women across US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 59-71.
  22. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
  23. James Hammitt & Ying Zhou, 2006. "The Economic Value of Air-Pollution-Related Health Risks in China: A Contingent Valuation Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(3), pages 399-423, 03.
  24. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
  25. Arnott, Richard, 2007. "Congestion tolling with agglomeration externalities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 187-203, September.
  26. 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.
  27. Richard Arnott & Tilmann Rave & Ronnie Schöb, 2005. "Alleviating Urban Traffic Congestion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012197, December.
  28. Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma, 2010. "Market Structure And Pricing Strategy Of China'S Automobile Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 818-845, December.
  29. Richard Arnott & Marvin Kraus, 2003. "Transport Economics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 553, Boston College Department of Economics.
  30. 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, 02.
  31. Francisco Gallego & Juan-Pablo Montero & Christian Salas, 2011. "The Effect of Transport Policies on Car Use: Theory and Evidence from Latin American Cities," Documentos de Trabajo 407, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  32. Kui-Yin Cheung & Elspeth Thomson, 2004. "The Demand for Gasoline in China: A Cointegration Analysis," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 533-544.
  33. Eskeland, Gunnar S & Feyzioglu, Tarhan, 1997. "Rationing Can Backfire: The "Day without a Car" in Mexico City," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 383-408, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.