Pollution and Congestion in Urban Areas: The Effects of Low Emission Zones

43 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2018 Last revised: 29 Jul 2021

See all articles by Valeria Bernardo

Valeria Bernardo

University of Barcelona - Riskcenter-IREA

Xavier Fageda

University of Barcelona

Ricardo Flores-Fillol

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

Date Written: March 14, 2020

Abstract

The great weight that the car has as a means of mobility in large cities generates significant negative externalities both in terms of pollution and congestion. The goal of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of low emission zones (LEZ), which are being implemented extensively in Europe. First, we extend the theoretical framework on urban tolls used in de Borger and Proost (2012) to analyze the effects of LEZ. Then we perform an econometric analysis taking advantage of a unique and extremely original panel of large European urban areas over the period 2008-2016, using data on congestion from TomTom and data on pollution (PM2.5) from environmental sciences. We conclude that LEZ abate pollution, especially in severely polluted cities. Instead, they are ineffective in mitigating congestion. This is a very relevant result, given the growing importance of LEZ in Europe.

Keywords: pollution, congestion, low emission zones, urban tolls, urban areas

JEL Classification: D62, H23, L92, R41

Suggested Citation

Bernardo, Valeria and Fageda, Xavier and Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, Pollution and Congestion in Urban Areas: The Effects of Low Emission Zones (March 14, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3289613 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3289613

Valeria Bernardo

University of Barcelona - Riskcenter-IREA ( email )

Av. Diagonal, 690
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Xavier Fageda

University of Barcelona ( email )

Av. Diagonal 690
08034 Barcelona
Spain
0034 934021947 (Phone)
0034 934024573 (Fax)

Ricardo Flores-Fillol (Contact Author)

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) ( email )

Dept. d'Economia (office 310), FCEE
Avinguda de la Universitat 1
Reus, Tarragona 43204
Spain
+34 977 75 98 51 (Phone)
+34 977 75 98 10 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://gandalf.fcee.urv.es/professors/RicardoFlores

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