Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 12/2017: Going Fast or Going Green? Evidence from Environmental Speed Limits in Norway.

Ingrid Kristine Folgerø (), Torfinn Harding () and Benjamin Westby ()
Additional contact information
Ingrid Kristine Folgerø: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Torfinn Harding: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Benjamin Westby: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of speed limits on local air pollution, using a series of datespecific speed limit reductions in Oslo over the 2004-2015 period. We find that lowering the speed limit from 80 to 60 km/h reduces travel speed by 5.8 km/h, but we find no effect on local air pollution. A conservative cost–benefit calculation suggests a net social loss from the speed limit reductions of 0.52 billion USD each year. Our findings imply that policy makers need to consider other actions than speed limit reductions to improve local air quality.

Keywords: Temporary speed limit; air pollution; travel time; cost-benefit; regression discontinuity design

JEL-codes: H23; Q53; Q58; R41

31 pages, September 7, 2017

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