The Effect of Owning a Car on Travel Behavior: Evidence from the Beijing License Plate Lottery

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 16-18

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2016

See all articles by Jun Yang

Jun Yang

Beijing University

Antung Liu

Indiana University - School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Ping Qin

Renmin University of China

Joshua Linn

Resources for the Future

Date Written: May 20, 2016

Abstract

To reduce pervasive problems of traffic congestion and air pollution, many cities in developing countries have considered restricting vehicle ownership. There is no empirical evidence on these programs’ efficacy and costs, but other prior work suggests that not having a car increases the cost of commuting and limits the set of job opportunities. However, these prior studies do not address the endogeneity of car ownership. We leverage a unique policy, the Beijing license plate lottery, to estimate the effect of restricting vehicles on distance traveled and commuting time, while addressing the endogeneity of car ownership. We find that adding a car has little impact on total distance traveled or time spent traveling, but a large impact on mode of travel. While reducing car ownership by 20 percent and car travel distance by 10 percent in Beijing, this policy has not added significantly to overall distances traveled or commute times.

Suggested Citation

Yang, Jun and Liu, Antung and Qin, Ping and Linn, Joshua, The Effect of Owning a Car on Travel Behavior: Evidence from the Beijing License Plate Lottery (May 20, 2016). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 16-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2789824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2789824

Jun Yang

Beijing University ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

Antung Liu

Indiana University - School of Public and Environmental Affairs ( email )

1315 East 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Ping Qin

Renmin University of China ( email )

Room B906
Xianjin Building
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

Joshua Linn (Contact Author)

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
973
rank
306,819
PlumX Metrics