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Léa BOU SLEIMAN (CREST) – “Displacing Congestion: Evidence from Paris”

September 20, 2022 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Applied Micro seminar : Every Tuesday
Time: 12:15 pm – 13:30 pm
Date: 20th of September 2022
Room : 3001

Léa BOU SLEIMAN (CREST) – “Displacing Congestion: Evidence from Paris”

Abstract: Car-free streets have become a clear call to contemporary urbanism, aiming at drastically reducing car externalities. Yet, unlike road expansion, the impacts of downsizing the road system have not been causally identified so far. This paper provides the first study of a reduction in the road supply.
Exploiting a rich traffic dataset, I evaluate the recent closure of the Georges Pompidou (GP) one-way street at the heart of Paris.
I implement a difference-in-difference design relying on the flow direction feature of each road. Results suggest that traffic was displaced to substitute roads near the GP and at the periphery of the city, increasing substantially congestion and air pollution in these areas. The non-linearity in traffic delays and the U-shaped relationship between the average speed and air pollution cause stronger impacts where congestion and/or air pollution are initially high. This explains the greater increase in pollutant particles I find near the outskirts of the city, although a smaller fraction of commuters switched to the periphery.
Embedding these results in a cost analysis, I show that 90% of the pollution costs are borne by low-income households, most of them living outside the local jurisdiction.

Benoît SCHMUTZ (Pôle d’économie du CREST)
Roland RATHELOT (Pôle d’économie du CREST)