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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Does supporting passenger railways reduce road traffic externalities?
Organization Unit
  • Rafael Laliv
  • Simon Luechinger
  • Armin Schmutzler
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 110
ISSN 1664-7041
Number of Pages 44
Date 2013
Abstract Text Many governments subsidize regional rail service as an alternative to road traffic. This paper assesses whether increases in service frequency reduce road traffic externalities. We exploit differences in service frequency growth by procurement mode following a railway reform in Germany to address endogeneity of service growth. Increases in service frequency reduce the number of severe road traffic accidents, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide pollution and infant mortality. Placebo regressions with sulfur dioxide and ozone yield no effect. Service frequency growth between 1994 and 2004 improves environmental quality by an amount that is worth approximately 28-40 % of total subsidies. An analysis of household behavior shows that the effects of railway services on outcome variables are driven by substitution from road to rail.
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Keywords Railways, pollution, procurement, accidents, Schienenverkehr, Eisenbahnpolitik, Substitutionsanalyse, Haushaltsökonomie, Strassenverkehr