The Air Quality Effects of Uber
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.
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