Restricting Traffic into the City Centre: Has Madrid Central Been Effective to Reduce NO 2 Levels?

23 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019

See all articles by Rafael Salas

Rafael Salas

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Insituto Complutense de Analisis Economico

María José Pérez Villadóniga

Universidad de Oviedo - Facultad de Economicas

Juan Prieto-Rodriguez

Universidad de Oviedo

Ana Russo

University of Lisbon - Instituto Dom Luiz

Date Written: November 29, 2019

Abstract

In this paper we assess the effectiveness of the introduction of Madrid Central (MC), a low-emission zone (LEZ), to improve the quality of air in the centre of Madrid. We take advantage of this natural experiment to identify the causal effect of the application of a LEZ on NO2 concentrations. Controlling for meteorological conditions and time effects, our results show that, associated to the implementation of MC LEZ, NO2 concentration set historical records well below the annual European Union established threshold of 40 μg/m3. This might have impacts on avoiding eventual sanctions from the EU Court of Justice. Furthermore, most of the monitoring stations outside Madrid LEZ also exhibit significant reductions in NO2 levels. These results suggest that there was a positive spillover effect and that pollution was not transferred from the city centre to other nearby areas. Instead, it seems that citizens in Madrid actually changed their transportation habits.

Keywords: low emissions zones effectiveness, air quality, NO2 emission, pollution control

JEL Classification: Q52, Q53

Suggested Citation

Salas, Rafael and Pérez Villadóniga, María José and Prieto Rodríguez, Juan and Russo, Ana, Restricting Traffic into the City Centre: Has Madrid Central Been Effective to Reduce NO 2 Levels? (November 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3495440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3495440

Rafael Salas (Contact Author)

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Insituto Complutense de Analisis Economico ( email )

Campus de Somosaguas
Madrid, 28223
Spain

María José Pérez Villadóniga

Universidad de Oviedo - Facultad de Economicas ( email )

Campus del Cristo
Oviedo, Asturias 33071
Spain

Juan Prieto Rodríguez

Universidad de Oviedo ( email )

Facultad de Economia y Empresa
Departamento de Economia. Avenida del Cristo
Oviedo, Asturias 33006
Spain
+ (34) 985103768 (Phone)
+ (34) 985104871 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unioviedo.es/juanprieto/index_e.html

Ana Russo

University of Lisbon - Instituto Dom Luiz

Lisboa, 1749-016
Portugal

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