Lock-In Effects of Road Expansion on Co2 Emissions: Results from a Core-Periphery Model of Beijing

26 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Alex Anas

Alex Anas

SUNY at Buffalo, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics

Govinda R. Timilsina

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: August 1, 2009

Abstract

In the urban planning literature, it is frequently explicitly asserted or strongly implied that ongoing urban sprawl and decentralization can lead to development patterns that are unsustainable in the long run. One manifestation of such an outcome is that if extensive road investments occur, urban sprawl and decentralization are advanced and locked-in, making subsequent investments in public transit less effective in reducing vehicle kilometers traveled by car, gasoline use and carbon dioxide emissions. Using a simple core-periphery model of Beijing, the authors numerically assess this effect. The analysis confirms that improving the transit travel time in Beijing?s core would reduce the city?s overall carbon dioxide emissions, whereas the opposite would be the case if peripheral road capacity were expanded. This effect is robust to perturbations in the model?s calibrated parameters. In particular, the effect persists for a wide range of assumptions about how location choice depends on travel time and a wide range of assumptions about other aspects of consumer preferences.

Keywords: Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Roads & Highways, Energy and Environment, Environment and Energy Efficiency, Economic Theory & Research, Urban Transport

Suggested Citation

Anas, Alex and Timilsina, Govinda R., Lock-In Effects of Road Expansion on Co2 Emissions: Results from a Core-Periphery Model of Beijing (August 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1457600

Alex Anas (Contact Author)

SUNY at Buffalo, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

415 Fronczak Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

Govinda R. Timilsina

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street NW
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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