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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 4 No. 1 (February 2012)

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Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality

Article Citation

Chen, Yihsu, and Alexander Whalley. 2012. "Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(1): 58-97.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.1.58

Abstract

The transportation sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide, yet little is known about the effects of transportation infrastructure on air quality. This paper quantifies the effects of one major type of transportation infrastructure—urban rail transit—on air quality using the sharp discontinuity in ridership on opening day of a new rail transit system in Taipei. We find that the opening of the Metro reduced air pollution from one key tailpipe pollutant, carbon monoxide, by 5 to 15 percent. Little evidence that the opening of the Metro affected ground level ozone pollution is found however. (JEL L92, Q53, R41, R53)

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Authors

Chen, Yihsu (U CA, Merced)
Whalley, Alexander (U CA, Merced)

JEL Classifications

L92: Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
Q53: Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
R41: Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
R53: Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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