Impacts of Policy Instruments to Reduce Congestion and Emissions from Urban Transportation: The Case of Sao Paulo, Brazil

30 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: October 1, 2009

Abstract

This study examines impacts on net social benefits or economic welfare of alternative policy instruments for reducing traffic congestion and atmospheric emissions in São Paulo, Brazil. The study shows that expanding road networks, subsidizing public transit, and improving automobile fuel economy may not be as effective as suggested by economic theories because these policies could cause significant rebound effects. Although pricing instruments such as congestion tolls and fuel taxes would certainly reduce congestion and emissions, the optimal level of these instruments would steeply increase the monetary cost of travel per trip and are therefore politically difficult to implement. However, a noticeable finding is that even smaller tolls, which are more likely to be politically acceptable, have substantial benefits in terms of reducing congestion and emissions. Among the various policy instruments examined in the study, the most socially preferable policy option for São Paulo would be to introduce a mix of congestion toll and fuel taxes on automobiles and use the revenues to improve public transit systems.

Keywords: Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Climate Change Economics, Roads & Highways, Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases, Transport and Environment

Suggested Citation

Anas, Alex and Timilsina, Govinda R., Impacts of Policy Instruments to Reduce Congestion and Emissions from Urban Transportation: The Case of Sao Paulo, Brazil (October 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498973

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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