IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/vfsc15/112957.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health

Author

Listed:
  • Hener, Timo
  • Rainer, Helmut
  • Bauernschuster, Stefan

Abstract

There is widespread concern that major cities and their inhabitants are highly vulnerable to transit strikes. Governments in many countries have addressed this concern by limiting the right of transit workers to strike. Whether or not this can be justified depends, in turn, on whether strikes by transit workers implicate the safety or health of urban populations and impose disproportionate costs on non-involved third parties. We use time series and cross-sectional variation in powerful registry data in order to quantify the effects of public transit strikes in five population-relevant domains: traffic volumes, travel times, accident risk, pollution emissions, and health. The context of our study are the five largest cities in Germany, allowing us to exploit 71 public transit strikes over the period from 2002 to 2011. Generalized difference-in-differences models suggest that strikes lead to a significant increase in car traffic, congestion, accident risk and air pollution. There is also evidence for a substantial increase in accident-related injuries and pollution-related health problems. The third party congestion costs of public transit strikes exceed the private costs of struck employers by at least a factor of four.

Suggested Citation

  • Hener, Timo & Rainer, Helmut & Bauernschuster, Stefan, 2015. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112957, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112957
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/112957/1/VfS_2015_pid_605.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Noland, Robert B. & Quddus, Mohammed A., 2005. "Congestion and safety: A spatial analysis of London," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 737-754.
    2. Alexandre Mas, 2008. "Labour Unrest and the Quality of Production: Evidence from the Construction Equipment Resale Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 229-258.
    3. Michael Baker, 2013. "Industrial actions in schools: strikes and student achievement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 1014-1036, August.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cunningham, Solveig Argeseanu & Mitchell, Kristina & Venkat Narayan, K.M. & Yusuf, Salim, 2008. "Doctors' strikes and mortality: A review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 1784-1788, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Jonathan Gruber & Samuel A. Kleiner, 2012. "Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 127-157, February.
    9. Alan B. Krueger & Alexandre Mas, 2004. "Strikes, Scabs, and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 253-289, April.
    10. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    11. Jérôme Adda, 2016. "Economic Activity and the Spread of Viral Diseases: Evidence from High Frequency Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 891-941.
    12. Adler, Martin W. & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2016. "Does public transit reduce car travel externalities? Quasi-natural experiments' evidence from transit strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 106-119.
    13. 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.
    14. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2017. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, February.
    15. 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.
    16. Lalive, Rafael & Luechinger, Simon & Schmutzler, Armin, 2013. "Does Supporting Passenger Railways Reduce Road Traffic Externalities?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9335, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Daniel Shefer & Piet Rietveld, 1997. "Congestion and Safety on Highways: Towards an Analytical Model," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 34(4), pages 679-692, April.
    18. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Reed Walker, 2016. "Airports, Air Pollution, and Contemporaneous Health," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 768-809.
    19. van Exel, N. Job A. & Rietveld, Piet, 2001. "Public transport strikes and traveller behaviour," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 237-246, October.
    20. Michael L. Anderson, 2014. "Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2763-2796, September.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. Matthew D. Webb, 2014. "Reworking Wild Bootstrap Based Inference For Clustered Errors," Working Paper 1315, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    24. Janet Currie & Eric A. Hanushek & E. Megan Kahn & Matthew Neidell & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "Does Pollution Increase School Absences?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 682-694, November.
    25. 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 2616-2652, October.
    26. Lo, Shih-Che & Hall, Randolph W., 2006. "Effects of the Los Angeles transit strike on highway congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 903-917, December.
    27. 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.
    28. Michèle Belot & Dinand Webbink, 2010. "Do Teacher Strikes Harm Educational Attainment of Students?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 391-406, December.
    29. Nelson, Peter & Baglino, Andrew & Harrington, Winston & Safirova, Elena & Lipman, Abram, 2007. "Transit in Washington, DC: Current benefits and optimal level of provision," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 231-251, September.
    30. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    31. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Shimshack, Jay P., 2014. "Air pollution and children's respiratory health: A cohort analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 39-57.
    32. Martin W. Adler & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2015. "Does Public Transit reduce Car Travel Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-011/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Beestermöller, Matthias, 2017. "Striking Evidence? Demand Persistence for Inter-City Buses from German Railway Strikes," Discussion Papers in Economics 31768, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:regeco:v:74:y:2019:i:c:p:99-117 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2017. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, February.
    4. Louis-Philippe Beland & Daniel A. Brent, 2018. "Traffic and the Provision of Public Goods," Departmental Working Papers 2018-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    5. Rainald Borck & Philipp Schrauth, 2019. "Population density and urban air quality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7629, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Molitor, Ramona, 2017. "Publicly announced speed limit enforcement and its impact on road safety: Evidence from the German Blitzmarathons," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-75-17, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    7. repec:eee:jeeman:v:92:y:2018:i:c:p:744-764 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:74-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Shirlee Lichtman-Sadot, 2017. "Can Public Transportation Reduce Accidents? Evidence From The Introduction Of Late-Night Buses In Israeli Cities," Working Papers 1715, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    10. Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2014. "Streiks im öffentlichen Nahverkehr: Negative Folgen für Verkehr, Umwelt und Gesundheit," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(24), pages 31-36, December.
    11. repec:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:447-467 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Rainald Borck, 2017. "Public Transport and Urban Pollution," CESifo Working Paper Series 6606, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Martin W. Adler & Federica Liberini & Antonio Russo & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2019. "The Congestion Relief Benefit of Public Transit: Evidence from Rome," CESifo Working Paper Series 7698, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Shirlee Lichtman-Sadot, 2018. "Can Public Transportation Reduce Accidents? Evidence From The Introduction Of Late-Night Buses In Israeli Cities," Working Papers 1803, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112957. 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: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.