The Effect of Beijing’s Driving Restrictions on Pollution and Economic Activity
65 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2011 Last revised: 3 Dec 2014
Date Written: November 18, 2014
We evaluate the pollution and labor supply reductions from Beijing’s driving restrictions. Causal effects are identified from both time-series and spatial variation in air quality and intra-day variation in television viewership. Based on daily data from multiple monitoring stations, air pollution falls 22% during every-other-day and 15% during one-day-per-week restrictions. Based on hourly television viewership data, viewership during the restrictions increases by 9 to 17% for workers with discretionary work time but is unaffected for workers without, consistent with the restrictions’ higher per-day commute costs reducing daily labor supply. We provide possible reasons for the policy’s success, including evidence of high compliance based on parking garage entrance records.
Keywords: driving restrictions, externalities, environmental economics, air pollution, commute costs
JEL Classification: H23, D62, L51, J22, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation