The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City

Posted: 9 Jun 2011

See all articles by Lucas W. Davis

Lucas W. Davis

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

In 1989, the government of Mexico City introduced a program, Hoy No Circula, that bans most drivers from using their vehicles one weekday per week on the basis of the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate. This article measures the effect of the driving restrictions on air quality using high-frequency measures from monitoring stations. Across pollutants and specifications there is no evidence that the restrictions have improved air quality. Evidence from additional sources indicates that the restrictions led to an increase in the total number of vehicles in circulation as well as a change in composition toward high-emissions vehicles.

Keywords: air quality, vehicle emissions, unintended consequences

JEL Classification: C14, D61, D62, H23, O18, Q50

Suggested Citation

Davis, Lucas W., The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City (2008). Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 116, No. 1, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1860169

Lucas W. Davis (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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