School runs and urban traffic congestion: Evidence from China

Weizeng Sun, Dongmei Guo*, Qiang Li, Haidong Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

It is widely believed that school runs generate urban traffic congestion. In this paper, we present credible evidence for this causal link using unique panel data that monitor traffic conditions in Beijing from 2015 to 2016. We adopt a triple difference strategy that utilizes three variations in traffic flows on the roads by school days and school holidays, by roads near and further away from schools, and by hours of school runs and other hours. We find that school runs increase the probability of road congestion by 4.5 percentage points. The impact is larger in the morning than that in the afternoon. Moreover, traffic congestion is more severe around schools that are larger, better, public rather than private, in more expensive neighborhoods, or with no student accommodation. Further analyses reveal that staggered school hours and provision of school buses can reduce congestion and improve social welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103606
Number of pages17
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Volume86
Early online date30 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

JEL classifications

  • r53 - "Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock"
  • r41 - "Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise"
  • i21 - Analysis of Education
  • h41 - Public Goods

Keywords

  • China
  • primary schools
  • road congestion
  • urban spatial structure
  • LOCATION
  • Urban spatial structure
  • Road congestion
  • DEMAND
  • SPATIAL STRUCTURE
  • TRAVEL BEHAVIOR
  • EQUILIBRIUM
  • LAND-USE
  • Primary schools
  • DRIVING RESTRICTIONS

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