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

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  • Viard, Brian
  • Fu, Shihe

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Viard, Brian & Fu, Shihe, 2011. "The effect of Beijing’s driving restrictions on pollution and economic activity," MPRA Paper 33009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33009
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Haoming & Salvo, Alberto, 2017. "Severe Air Pollution and School Absences: Longitudinal Data on Expatriates in North China," IZA Discussion Papers 11134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Xu, Yangfei & Zhang, Qinghua & Zheng, Siqi, 2015. "The rising demand for subway after private driving restriction: Evidence from Beijing's housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 28-37.
    3. Anderson, Michael L. & Lu, Fangwen & Zhang, Yiran & Yang, Jun & Qin, Ping, 2016. "Superstitions, street traffic, and subjective well-being," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 1-10.
    4. Chia-Wen Chen & Wei-Min Hu & Christopher R. Knittel, 2017. "Subsidizing Fuel Efficient Cars: Evidence from China's Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 23045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Xueying Lu, 2016. "Effectiveness of government enforcement in driving restrictions: a case in Beijing, China," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(1), pages 63-92, January.
    6. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0653-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Xueying Lu, 2016. "Effectiveness of government enforcement in driving restrictions: a case in Beijing, China," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(1), pages 63-92, January.
    8. Fu, Shihe & Gu, Yizhen, 2017. "Highway toll and air pollution: Evidence from Chinese cities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 32-49.
    9. Zhang, Wei & Lin Lawell, C.-Y. Cynthia & Umanskaya, Victoria I., 2017. "The effects of license plate-based driving restrictions on air quality: Theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 181-220.
    10. 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.
    11. Chen Yuyu & Jin Ginger Zhe & Kumar Naresh & Shi Guang, 2012. "Gaming in Air Pollution Data? Lessons from China," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-43, December.
    12. repec:eee:juecon:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:106-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Paul E. Carrillo & Andrea Lopez & Arun Malik, 2016. "Pollution or Crime: The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Criminal Activity," Working Papers 2016-31, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    14. Paul Carrillo & Andrea López & Arun Malik, 2016. "Pollution or Crime: The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Criminal Activity," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7731, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Diao, Qinghua & Sun, Wei & Yuan, Xinmei & Li, Lili & Zheng, Zhi, 2016. "Life-cycle private-cost-based competitiveness analysis of electric vehicles in China considering the intangible cost of traffic policies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 567-578.
    16. 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.
    17. Paul E. Carrillo & Andrea Lopez & Arun Malik, 2016. "Pollution or Crime: The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Criminal Activity," Working Papers 2016-31, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    18. Fu, Shihe & Viard, Brian, 2014. "Commute Costs and Labor Supply: Evidence from a Satellite Campus," MPRA Paper 53740, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Shum, Matthew & Sun, Wei & Ye, Guangliang, 2014. "Superstition and “lucky” apartments: Evidence from transaction-level data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-117.
    20. Yan Liu & Zhijun Yan & Su Liu & Yuting Wu & Qingmei Gan & Chao Dong, 2017. "The effect of the driving restriction policy on public health in Beijing," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 85(2), pages 751-762, January.
    21. Mo Xiao & Jiandong Ju & Ying Fan, 2013. "Losing to Win: Reputation Management of Online Sellers," 2013 Meeting Papers 192, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. repec:eee:transb:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:297-314 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:571-:d:95351 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Driving restrictions; externalities; environmental economics; pollution;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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