The Effectiveness of Vehicle Emission Control Policies: Evidence from Japanese Experience

32 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014  

Kazuyuki Iwata

Takasaki City University of Economics - Regional Policy

Toshi H. Arimura

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Tetsuya Shimane

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

Governments in developed countries have implemented various regulations to manage air pollutants from automobiles, such as emission standards and subsidies for low emission vehicles. Japan is a unique example of a country that has overcome the severe air pollution of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) through the mandatory retirement of old, high emission vehicles in metropolitan areas. To date, however, it is not clear which policy instruments have been effective in mitigating the air pollution from automobiles. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effectiveness of policy instruments in attaining cleaner air in Japanese metropolitan areas. Using data from 1990 to 2005, we estimate the concentration functions of NOx and PM using a spatial econometric model. We find that most regulations and subsidies decreased the concentration levels of both pollutants. Traditional emission standards were found to be more effective than other policy instruments. Vehicle replacement subsidies were more cost-effective than those for PM-removal equipment. Furthermore, the empirical results indicate that the effect of subsidies for vehicle replacement on one municipality’s air had spillover effects by improving the pollutant concentrations in the surrounding municipal areas.

Keywords: Air pollution, Automobile, Regulation, Subsidies and Spillover

JEL Classification: Q53, Q58, R48

Suggested Citation

Iwata, Kazuyuki and Arimura, Toshi H. and Shimane, Tetsuya, The Effectiveness of Vehicle Emission Control Policies: Evidence from Japanese Experience (May 2014). Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) Paper No. E-77. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2438618

Kazuyuki Iwata

Takasaki City University of Economics - Regional Policy ( email )

United States

Toshihide H. Arimura (Contact Author)

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050
Japan

Tetsuya Shimane

Tokyo Institute of Technology ( email )

2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 152-8550, 52-8552
Japan

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