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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.

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

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Date of creation: 25 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33009
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  1. 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.
  2. repec:dgr:uvatin:20090008 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Feyzioglu, Tarhan, 1995. "Rationing can backfire : the day without a car in Mexico City," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1554, The World Bank.
  4. Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva & van Ommeren, Jos, 2010. "Labour Supply and Commuting," IZA Discussion Papers 4798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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..
  6. 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, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 117-143, January.
  7. Richard Arnott, 2007. "Congestion Tolling with Agglomeration Externalities," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 660, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. 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, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
  9. Chen, Yuyu & Jin, Ginger Zhe & Kumar, Naresh & Shi, Guang, 2013. "The promise of Beijing: Evaluating the impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 424-443.
  10. Richard Arnott & Tilmann Rave & Ronnie Schöb, 2005. "Alleviating Urban Traffic Congestion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012197, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Richard Arnott & Marvin Kraus, 2003. "Transport Economics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 553, Boston College Department of Economics.
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