Congestion pricing, air pollution, and individual-level behavioral responses

Elisabeth T. Isaksen & Bjørn G. Johansen

Memo 01/2021

Front page Memorandum


This paper shows that differentiating driving costs by time of day and vehicle type help improve urban air quality, lower driving, and induce adoption of electric vehicles. By taking advantage of a congestion charge that imposed spatial and temporal variation in the cost of driving a conventional vehicle, we find that economic incentives lower traffic and concentrations of NO2. Exploiting a novel dataset on car ownership, we find that households exposed to congestion charging on their way to work were more likely to adopt an electric vehicle. Heterogeneity analyses show strong socioeconomic gradients in the transition towards low-emission cars.

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Published May 26, 2021 10:58 AM - Last modified May 26, 2021 10:58 AM