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The Air Quality and Well-being Effects of Low Emission Zones

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Luis Sarmiento, Nicole Wägner, Aleksandar Zaklan

In: Journal of Public Economics 227 (2023), 105014, 23 S.


This study provides the first evidence of the subjective well-being impacts of low emission zones (LEZs) while also undertaking a comprehensive analysis of their air quality effects. We identify causal impacts by exploiting the zones’ introduction date with difference-in-differences designs robust to staggered implementations and time-varying treatment effects. Results show air quality improvements through reductions in traffic-related pollutants despite ground-level ozone increases and harmful spatial pollution spillovers. We further find that the zones cause transitory yet long-lasting reductions in individuals’ life satisfaction despite health benefits, suggesting that the subjective well-being effects of restricting mobility potentially outweigh those of improved health.

JEL-Classification: Q53;Q58;I31;I18
Keywords: Low emission zones, air quality, well-being, health, difference-in-differences

Supplementary Material