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The Air Quality Effects of Uber

Sarmiento, Luis / KIM, Yeong Jae

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Abstract

This study identifies the effect of Uber on the air quality of urban agglomerations in the United States. For this, we infer its causal impact on the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index with state-of-the-art difference-in-difference estimators accounting for Uber’s staggered implementation and dynamic treatment effects. Results show that Uber improves air quality. The value of the air quality index and the number of unhealthy air quality episodes decrease after its introduction. We provide evidence that the bulk of the improvement comes from declining ozone levels during the summer. Notably, results hold for a plethora of different specifications, samples, and robustness exercises. To the best of our knowledge, this article is the first to estimate the air quality effects of ride-hailing technologies empirically in the United States. However, further research is required to identify the exact mechanisms through which Uber’s impact on the transportation system affects air quality.

Issue Date
2021-11
Publisher
European Institute on Economics and the Environment
Keywords
Ride-hailing; Uber; Air Pollution; United States; Difference-in-differences
Pages
41
Series Title
Working Paper 21-34
URI
https://archives.kdischool.ac.kr/handle/11125/43656
URL
https://www.rff.org/publications/working-papers/the-air-quality-effects-of-uber/
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