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Does supporting passenger railways reduce road traffic externalities?


Lalive, Rafael; Luechinger, Simon; Schmutzler, Armin (2013). Does supporting passenger railways reduce road traffic externalities? Working paper series / Department of Economics 110, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Many governments subsidize regional rail service as an alternative to road traffic. This paper assesses whether increases in service frequency reduce road traffic externalities. We exploit differences in service frequency growth by procurement mode following a railway reform in Germany to address endogeneity of service growth. Increases in service frequency reduce the number of severe road traffic accidents, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide pollution and infant mortality. Placebo regressions with sulfur dioxide and ozone yield no effect. Service frequency growth between 1994 and 2004 improves environmental quality by an amount that is worth approximately 28-40 % of total subsidies. An analysis of household behavior shows that the effects of railway services on outcome variables are driven by substitution from road to rail.

Abstract

Many governments subsidize regional rail service as an alternative to road traffic. This paper assesses whether increases in service frequency reduce road traffic externalities. We exploit differences in service frequency growth by procurement mode following a railway reform in Germany to address endogeneity of service growth. Increases in service frequency reduce the number of severe road traffic accidents, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide pollution and infant mortality. Placebo regressions with sulfur dioxide and ozone yield no effect. Service frequency growth between 1994 and 2004 improves environmental quality by an amount that is worth approximately 28-40 % of total subsidies. An analysis of household behavior shows that the effects of railway services on outcome variables are driven by substitution from road to rail.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:Q53, R41, R48
Uncontrolled Keywords:Railways, pollution, procurement, accidents
Language:English
Date:February 2013
Deposited On:06 Feb 2013 14:24
Last Modified:14 Aug 2017 09:10
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:44
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp110.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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